The Virtual School Handbook

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Owner: Lewisham Virtual School Editor

Version: 1.0

Last Updated: 07-07-2016 10:07



What is the Virtual School Handbook for?

The Virtual School Handbook IS NOT a replacement for the Statutory Guidance with which a Virtual School Head (VSH) must be familiar. NEITHER is it an inspection framework NOR an inventory against which to judge a virtual school’s performance.

The Virtual School Handbook IS produced by the Virtual School Head community for the VSH community, as a guide to how a VSH COULD fulfil their duties and functions.

The Handbook is intended to become an online, rather than a printed, resource enabling a VSH to find the information they need as efficiently as possible. Until then pdf versions will be made available as necessary to take account of significant updates. Statements in this handbook have taken particular account of research findings from the Rees Centre where these are available, and as the Centre publishes additional information the text will be updated.

Alun Rees, June 2015 (


Like the statutory guidance, Promoting the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children (July 2014), this handbook is intended to be helpful to any local authority officers, in particular Directors of Children’s Services (DCS), Virtual School Heads (VSH), social workers, school admission officers, special educational needs departments, independent reviewing officers (IRO) and Lead Members. It is also hoped that schools, and specifically headteachers and designated teachers for looked after children will find it helpful in understanding the roll of the VSH and the needs of looked after children.