Virtual Schools

Cumberland Virtual School is responsible for raising the educational standards of Cumberland's Children Looked After (CLA).

The Virtual School team works with schools that CLA are attending to ensure they reach their full educational potential and go on to succeed in their adult lives.

The Virtual School also provides information and advice to parents and carers, educators and other professionals of previously looked after children. 

Our aims:

  • Ensure all CLA make good progress from their starting points
  • Ensure every CLA has a high quality Personal Educational Plan (PEP) which sets out the actions and support to be provided
  • Provide advice to schools on effective use of the Pupil Premium Plus for CLA
  • Improve the attendance of any CLA where this is a problem
  • Reduce exclusions for CLA
  • Deliver training to schools, designated teachers, carers, children's services personnel and other partner agencies
  • Be a source of advice and information for parents and educators of previously looked after children

Read more about the work of the Virtual School in the latest Virtual School Annual Report (PDF 153kb)

Virtual School Head

The Virtual Head:

  • provides strategic leadership for the Virtual School.
  • acts as a champion for all CLA.
  • monitors CLA progress as if they attended a single school.
  • ensures all CLA have appropriate educational provision in place.
  • works to improve the educational experiences and outcomes for all Cumberland CLA.

Deputy Headteacher 

The Deputy Headteacher:

  • Assists the Virtual School Head Teacher with day to day management of the Virtual School.
  • Plays a lead role in raising the achievement of Previously Looked After Children
  • Promotes the educational achievements of care leavers 
  • Ensures the quality of Personal Education Plans (PEPs) and managing the Pupil Premium Plus budget for CLA.
  • Lead on providing training to those responsible for promoting the educational achievement of looked after and previously looked after children. 
  • To deputise for the Virtual School Headteacher


The SEND Lead:

  • Promotes the Education of all Cumberland Children Looked After (CLA) with SEND
  • Provides strategic leadership for the Virtual School on SEND 
  • Ensures that Children Looked After with SEND have their needs identified and assessed without drift or delay and that appropriate educational provision is in place
  • Supports schools, parents/ carers and social workers with SEND information, advice and guidance regarding our CLA

Inclusion Officers for CLA

The Inclusion Officers work in their geographical areas to:

  • ensure that CLA have an appropriate educational provision.
  • improve the attendance of CLA.
  • reduce exclusions of CLA where this is an issue.
  • support all key transitions for CLA e.g changes of school.
  • support planning and interventions via multi agency responses and action plans.
  • provide advice regarding the learning needs of individual children.
  • support the PEP process and PP+ funding when necessary.

Achievement Teachers for CLA

The CLA Achievement Teachers work in their geographical areas to:

  • track and monitor the progress of CLA in schools in Cumberland and in schools out of the county.
  • ensure that every child/young person has a high quality PEP.
  • ensure that Pupil Premium Plus is used effectively.
  • proactively support planning and interventions.
  • provide advice regarding the learning needs of individual children.
  • provide training to enhance the experiences of CLA.

Positive Engagement Officers

  • Promote the inclusion and well-being of Key Stage 4 and post-16 children looked after (CLA) and care leavers in Cumberland through to age 25.
  • Improve the educational outcomes for children looked after and care leavers in Cumberland in order to help them achieve their full potential in post-16 education, employment and training.
  • Be involved with Cumberland's CLA from Key Stage 4 onwards in order to promote the child's educational achievement and career opportunities wherever they live, are educated or seek work.

Education Officer for Children with a Social Worker

  • Provides strategic leadership in promoting the educational outcomes for all Cumberland Children with a Social Worker.
  • Supports key professionals with information, advice and guidance regarding the education of Cumberland Children with a Social Worker.
  • Works in partnership with other agencies to identify barriers to education and strategies to overcome them.

Contact the Virtual School

Contact the Virtual School for:

  • Advice, information and guidance for CLA and Previously CLA
  • All CLA School moves in/out of county