We coordinate educational services for children in care through the Sheffield Virtual School. The Virtual School does not physically exist as a building and children do not attend; they remain the responsibility of the school where they are enrolled.

The Virtual School is responsible for children and young people from 2 to 18 years old.

The Virtual School works in partnership with the child or young person’s school (or education establishment at which they are registered) to ensure that they are supported to fulfil their potential at all stages of their education, and to give them the best opportunity to be successful in their adult lives.

Whilst Children in Care attend different schools (and education establishments) across the city and in other local authorities, the Virtual School monitors their attendance, attainment and achievement, and makes sure that their educational success is a top priority in their care planning. Ensuring effective and well planned transition between the phases (early years, statutory schooling and post-16) is a key role for the Virtual School.

Children in Care attract additional funding to support the targets or outcomes set out in their Personal Education Plans (PEPs). This is called Pupil Premium Plus Grant and is administered by the Head of the Virtual School.

The Virtual School isn’t legally responsible for other local authority looked after children placed in Sheffield, however, we are committed to signposting professionals from other local authorities who are experiencing issues with any of their children who are placed in Sheffield.

What you can expect from the Virtual School:

  • telephone support from 9am to 5pm during school time
  • responses to email enquiries within 24 hours (except during weekends and holidays)
  • a named advocate for each child in care  
  • access to regular training
  • a website providing access to resources and support 

Please note: our email is for general enquiries. Please do not send any case sensitive information.

The team

  • Pam Smith – Virtual School Head
  • Shaklil Zaman – Operations Manager
  • Tom Gamble – Data and Attendance Manager
  • Helen Smith – Virtual School Advocate (Secondary - Lead)
  • Emma Blythe and Roger Wilkinson – Secondary Advocates
  • Nikki Pullinger – Virtual School Advocate (Primary - Lead)
  • Denise Bracken – Primary Advocate

Virtual School

Ask us a question

0114 273 5584 9am to 4.45pm Monday to Friday in term time