All children and young people, between the ages of 4 and 19, who are in the care of Surrey County Council automatically become part of Surrey's Virtual School.
There is an explanation on this site of what we are here to do.
At any one time there are between 500 and 550 pupils in our School, who are attending 'real' schools in places across the UK. In every school there will be a Designated Teacher, who is responsible for supporting and helping you to make the most of your education during, what can be, tough times.
If you don't know who they are, ask your Class or Form teacher - and if that fails - just get in touch with us and we'll let you know.
Personal Education Plan (PEP)
An important part of making sure you're able to succeed with your education is your Personal Education Plan (PEP).
We know you will have many different adults involved in your life just now putting together lots of paperwork, but your PEP is a really important document that will highlight not only all your successes, but also the things you might find difficult - with solutions to help you.
You should be a part of any conversations about your PEP, so that you get the right support and so that your views are heard. As you get older you should consider 'chairing' your own PEP meetings.
Whatever happens, go to these meetings, they really will make a difference for you!
Changing schools, extra teaching and post-16
If you have had to change schools - your PEP is the key document that will move with you to your new school so the new Designated Teacher can make sure things are in place for you, and teachers who need to know how best to teach you, have the information they need.
At some point you might need some extra teaching - just to help you catch up on things you may have missed because you've had to move or haven't been able to concentrate on learning for a period of time. These are things we can help to arrange through your school and your PEP.
If you're thinking about subject choices for your GCSE or considering how you might get back on the learning ladder you may also want some information about the possible routes into education or employment. Take a look at the careers advice pages for more.
Let us know too, if there are things you'd like to know that you haven't been able to find out about and we'll see what we can do for you.
User Voice Participation Goes Virtual!
The User Voice team has moved their participation groups to virtual setting which will allow more young people to get support in these challenging times.
Care Council is now online. There is also offering additional sessions for young people who are looking for additional mental health support.
A young person's guide to looking after mental health and emotional wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak
Looking after your mind as well as your body is really important. At the moment, because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are all dealing with a lot of uncertainty and frustration. It's easy to feel a bit overwhelmed and worried by everything you're hearing about COVID-19, and that's completely normal.
NHS East Berkshire CCG has put together a Young Person's Coping Guide which can be found on their website, which contains lots of resources, websites and apps for looking after your mental health.
Have your say
Are you are a young person looked after by Surrey County Council? Want to influence how the council works for you?
Visit our User Voice and Participation website to find out how you can have your say.
We are aware that a number of young people will still be waiting for results for BTEC qualifications and that these have been held for further checking. We understand that this will be causing more concern for young people and we will be available to support at any time (email@example.com)
Schools, colleges and the adults that support you are aware of all the hard work and effort that you will have been putting in to your final year at school towards your GCSEs.
- If you receive the results you were expecting and have a clear pathway to A levels, BTEC, Apprenticeships or work with training, we wish you well with your next stage of your career path.
- If your results are not what you had hoped for or do not meet the requirements for your 6th form, college or apprenticeship provider/employer – please do not dismiss this route as closed to you. Contact the school, college or apprenticeship provider to see if they will take you anyway. Schools and colleges will be looking to support young people at this difficult time. They may suggest:
- You start your chosen course as they are confident that you can complete this new course successfully.
- You will start your course and you are intending to appeal your results and/or retake your GCSEs in November 2020.
- You consider another pathway or vocational option at the same school or college.
- You want to consider something different instead; for example, an apprenticeship.
Who can help and where to find information?
Schools are best placed to talk to you about your results and whether you can appeal or resit exams for subjects where you need/ want to improve your grades. They will be working with national guidance to achieve the best outcome for young people.
The Department for Education (DofE) has issued statements also has more information.
These are updated, daily - see the DofE update for 20 August 2020
Ofqual, who are responsible for the results, have issued guidance that young people should not be charged to appeal a result or take a November resit. Links to their most recent advice can be found here.
It is expected that a young person will sit these November exams at the school they attended in the summer. If, however, you have moved home over the summer and it would be difficult for you to return to your original school, please speak to your social worker who will be able to contact the Virtual School for more support in this instance.
English and Maths
Please remember that you are required to keep studying for your English and Maths level 2 qualification, to achieve a level 4 GCSE or a Level 2 Functional Skills qualification.
If you score a grade 3 or below you can consider retakes in November. Additionally, if you score a grade 2 or below at GCSE, your next college or apprenticeship provider will support you to continue studying these subjects until you achieve these by the time you turn 18. You may be able to consider functional skills qualifications instead. Speak to your school and/or college to find the best option for you.
If you are thinking about an apprenticeship, this website will give you lots of information about apprenticeships across a wide range of vocational areas and allows you search for current vacancies across the country.
Please also review links on the SVS (Surrey Virtual School) website, which has information and links to other advice and guidance.
We recognise that this is an extremely anxious time for lots of young people, please speak to your social workers about your worries or concerns and ask for help to find the information and support you need.
U-Explore is a learning platform to help you 'prepare for your future, whatever that might be...' Please visit the U-Explore website to join (no login or registration necessary)
Help and advice for children in care
In care or a care leaver? Looking for help and advice? Become are the charity for children in care and young care leavers and can provide support online or over the phone.
Young adult well-being and support in libraries
You can find advice and support from a wide range of resources in Surrey's libraries, on issues such as anxiety, depression and bullying.
Surrey Music Hub
Surrey Music Hub are creating a 'free, inclusive orchestra for experienced musicians, complete beginners and anyone in between!' This will be launching on 15 May, held both via Zoom and through face to face sessions, and is available to anyone aged 13 and up. To find out more and book a place, please visit the Surrey Music Hub website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
One of our young people has written and published their very own book, 'Don't be Scared of who You Are' which can be found on Amazon - an amazing achievement!