The Education of Children Looked After: Sutton Virtual School Annual Report 2020

The Virtual School Annual Report describes how Sutton Virtual School works closely with foster carers, social workers and schools to help improve the education of our Children Looked After.

In order to see the other ways in which Sutton’s Children Looked After have been supported, watch the short summary video ( )

Sutton’s Children Looked After have yet again made strong educational strides forwards this year, despite the many challenges that they have had to overcome.  There was a significant focus this year on building a community of support with foster carers, which was particularly helpful given the home learning role that many  carers found themselves undertaking.  The use of virtual technology has helped bring the Sutton Children Looked After community closer together and has unlocked some real potential for effective future ways of working.

There has been a recognition that all the children and young people will benefit from increased aspirations and work has taken place to build aspirations for the youngest children with the introduction of Cubbie bear, through to Widening Participation links for post 16 care leaver embarking on further education and careers.   Sutton had 9 care leavers start university places this September, taking the total to 27 Sutton care leavers currently at university.  A higher percentage of young people achieved level 4 or higher passes in English and maths GCSE and more started level 3 courses post 16 than ever before.

What is working well? 

Sutton Children Looked After achieved record-breaking GCSE results this summer

More children are reporting feeling engaged in school and exclusions have reduced

We have provided more training to  foster carers so they can support CLA education

We are working closely with a university so that we can support more of our children to go on to Higher Education

We have introduced Money Ready to help CLA’s develop an understanding of finances ready for when they become  adults

We have responded to survey feedback from young people, their foster carers and their teachers by improving our website

We are providing training to Sutton schools so that they have best knowledge to support our children

We have supported 9 young people to start university this year and 27 Sutton care leavers are currently studying at a university

We have launched a newsletter to update foster carers with developments in the Sutton Virtual School

We are ready to launch an enrichment programme to increase educational opportunities for our young people

We provided all children who needed one a laptop at the start of lockdown to enable them to work effectively at home where needed


What can be improved?

We want all children to make good progress in their learning to reach their academic potential.

To help achieve this will:

Introduce writing support for our youngest children

Introduce Letterbox for our youngest children to promote the importance of reading

Introduce our Cubbie bear for our youngest children to encourage them to ‘Aim, Aspire, Achieve’

Introduce termly rewards to ensure our young people are recognized

Ensure tuition support is the best it can be

Provide even more training for teachers so they can support CLA learning better