Central Bedfordshire Children in Care Council

Education, training and employment

What is the Virtual School?

The Virtual School is an additional resource which exists to support and challenge all those involved in the education of children in care. It is involved in, or promotes nationally and locally, various initiatives to support the educational achievement of children in care.

The Virtual School is not a teaching tool or environment. It does not replace the school or educational provision of children in care.

All children in the care of Central Bedfordshire who are of statutory school age and in education post 16, including university, are part of Central Bedfordshire’s  Virtual School.

The Virtual School Team is a small multi-disciplinary team working to raise the educational attainment and attendance of children and young people. It works in close collaboration with colleagues across the authority, and also in partnership with the third sector. It tracks educational progress, while supporting and monitoring work with children and young people in care. It works to help young people achieve their full potential, and offers support and advice to those who care and work with them.

The head of Virtual Schools is Jacqui Bunker-Dare

Please visit the link below for further information.


Central Bedfordshire Youth Support Team

The Leaving Care Team works closely with the Youth Support Team and the Virtual School to support your education.

The Youth Support Team are “A team of experienced career professionals with diverse and complimentary skills, committed to improving the outcomes of young people who are looked after or who have left care by empowering and enabling them to overcome barriers to education, employment and training

All young people looked after by Central Bedfordshire Council will be allocated to this Personal Adviser (with support from Senior for those with SEND crossover) at 13 years old regardless of where they live.

What We Do for Looked After Children and Care Leavers -

  • Use person centred approaches in everything we do
  • Provide impartial and confidential information, advice and guidance to enable young people to make informed decisions about their future
  • Use our knowledge and experience of the education system, local provision,  labour market information and additional learning support mechanisms to raise aspirations and support young peoples engagement in education, employment and training
  • Help young people plan how they can reach their aspirations for adulthood.
  • Complete Preparing for Adulthood Plans to support transitions
  • Work in partnership with other professionals to ensure holistic support for young people.
  • Challenge negative perceptions of young people with complex needs and promote the creation of opportunities for them.
  • Attend and contribute to multi-agency meetings such as LAC reviews, PEPs and Annual Reviews

Wider Youth Support Service Team

The Youth Support Service (YSS) manages the co-ordination and delivery of a comprehensive ‘Youth Offer’ in Central Bedfordshire.   As part of this offer, the YSS commissions and directly provides intervention and support to young people aged 13-19 years (up to 25 in some circumstances).  This intervention and support aims to;

  •  Engage and support young people into Education, Employment and Training who are marginalised through their experience of a range of significant internal and external barriers to personal, social and economic progression.
  • Identification and tracking of young people’s progress to ensure the wider council are able to function according to statutory responsibilities in securing active participation in Education, Employment and Training
  • Promote the ‘Youth Voice’ initiatives that actively work to raise the profile, representation and support of all young people across Central Bedfordshire.
  • Engage the most disadvantaged you ng people in a range of informal learning opportunities through our targeted youth work provision
  • Working in close partnership with schools and providers to ensure they are actively engaged in the consideration of career pathways for young people in line with statutory raising the participation age requirements
  • Undertake post 16 provision reviews in order that the council commission and advise on appropriate provision

Central Bedfordshire Youth Support Team

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