Looked After Children Education Services (LACES)

The Virtual School for Children Looked After (CLA) coordinates strategic and operational educational services for children that are in care with Wirral Borough Council and will advise on educational issues for children placed in other local authorities’ schools.

The Virtual School is not a physical school, it does not have premises, the children and young people in care are actually on roll at and attend their lessons at other schools.

In Wirral, the Virtual School for Children Looked After is a small team of 7 people who work with all children in care, foster carers, schools, social and residential workers and other professionals.

What we do

We:

  • raise the educational achievement of all children in care and close the gap between them and their peers
  • improve their overall attendance and reduce rates of persistent absence
  • offer support, guidance and training to schools, foster carers, social workers and other professionals
  • reduce the number of exclusions, both fixed term and permanent, and to ensure that those young people who are excluded receive at least their statutory entitlement to support and re-integration during this period
  • ensure that each young person is attending the school that is most appropriate to meeting their needs.  In addition, wherever possible, to attend a school that has been categorised by Ofsted as providing a good or better education
  • ensure every child and young person in care has an effective and up to date Personal Education Plan (PEP), for children aged 0 to 18 years
  • listen to the view of the child through the PEP process
  • liaise with all agencies and teams involved with children in care and supporting the transition process for vulnerable children in care
  • track attainment, progress, attendance and exclusions of all Wirral Children Looked After
  • identify the Pupil Premium Plus payments school will receive and link these to PEPs and appropriate targets
  • ensure that each young person is attending the school that is most appropriate to meeting their needs.  In addition, wherever possible, to attend a school that has been categorised by Ofsted as providing a good or better education
  • minimise, and where possible, remove social, emotional, behavioral and attachment factors that may prove to be barriers to accessing the curriculum
  • promote equality of opportunity
  • ensure that their views are fully considered in decision-making and inform developments in relation to service provision and delivery

The school sits in the Local Authority School Improvement Team and is led by one of the General Inspectors.

Contact us

Team Email
Virtual School Headteacher trishlewis@wirral.gov.uk
Virtual School Education Lead and Secondary Schools sarahdacey@wirral.gov.uk
Education Progress Officer,
Secondary Schools and Post 16
carolynbrough@wirral.gov.uk
Education Progress Officer,
Primary Schools
emmaedwards@wirral.gov.uk
Education Progress Officer,
Primary Schools
janefranklin@wirral.gov.uk
Education Progress Officer,
Early Years
jessicaleighmcnabb@wirral.gov.uk
Education Progress Officer,
Out of Borough Secondary Schools:
ruthrawlins@wirral.gov.uk