The role of the Virtual School in supporting improved educational outcomes for children in care

research

 

 

 

In England, ‘Virtual Schools’ oversee and support the educational progress of children in care. This paper reports on the analysis of 16 interviews with Virtual School Head Teachers that were part of two mixed methods research projects on the educational progress of children in care (Sebba et al. 2015; Sebba et al. 2016). These interviews explored their role; the types of support they offer young people in care; what they see as the key factors about a young person’s individual characteristics and care experiences that influence their educational outcomes; how schools support young people in care; and the influence of the foster carer/residential staff on the educational outcomes of these children. The interviews were analysed using NVivo and emerging themes were identified informed by the literature on the education of children in care. The paper draws out the main findings which explore the status and role of Virtual Schools in England, their functions, strategies and what they see as their contribution to improving the educational outcomes of children in care.

 

Reference:  Sebba, J. , & Berridge, D. (2019). The role of the Virtual School in supporting improved educational outcomes for children in care. Oxford Review of Education, 45(4), 538-555. https://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2019.1600489

 

See related academic articles and citations in Google Scholar.

 

commentary

 

Very little is known to date [2019] about exactly whether, and if so how the work of the Virtual School Headteacher programme in England contributes to the education of children in care as cohorts are small in many LAs, year-on-year cohorts vary significantly and there are no national data linking interventions to outcomes. We know from previous research (e.g. Sebba et al., 2015) that earlier entry into care and placement stability are important in contributing to better educational outcomes. Identifying the processes by which the VSHs contribute to this, for example, by minimising school changes and reducing exclusions, might support the development of greater resilience. In addition, in this study, the VSHs seldom referred to support for children in residential care who emerged from earlier research as having particularly poor outcomes.

See also: Raising the bar? Evaluation of the social pedagogy pilot programme in residential children's homes.

 

 

 

--------

We do not normally hold copies of journal article publications on this site (since we value the peer-viewed and expensive to do so process that is central to research and that supports the academic community and we absolutely recognise and respect copyright.) Where we do hold copies of journal articles is only where they are; shared with us by the publisher; shared with us by the author(s) and or published under a creative commons copyright license or permission via the publishers' policies. In all instances, the reference on our pages links to the original where possible. This article from Bristol is marked as open access; please reference the original.

---------

Attachments:
Download this file (Sebba, J. , Berridge, D. (2019).pdf)Sebba, J. , Berridge, D. (2019).pdf[2019]469 kB

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.

X

Right Click

Only subscribers can copy.