The Role of Parents, Foster Carers, Social Workers and Residential care staff

You have an essential role to play in supporting and promoting the education of children in your care. You can help to increase children’s life chances by helping to unlock their potential by building self-esteem and encouraging and enabling them to make the most of educational opportunities open to them.

Children in Care may have experienced disrupted education due to various reasons, such as; lack of previous attendance; the impact of abuse/neglect upon learning and behaviour in school; or changes of placements, areas and schools once becoming Looked After. This will have an impact on how well they do in school, their behaviour and how they feel about themselves. It is vital that a child's educational arrangements and needs are discussed by all concerned and when needed, transition plans are put in place. It is essential that Virtual School are informed before any changes in School placements.

For information and advice regarding Previously Looked After Children please see link

What if you have concerns about School or Provision?

  1. Discuss with school, the child's social worker and your Supervising Social worker.
  2. Request a joint meeting between carer/social worker/Virtual School/supervising worker/school and child (where age appropriate).
  3. Ask the Fostering Service or the Virtual School representative if there are any resources available that may be helpful for your school to access.

What to do if you have concerns over the educational progress of your Child?

  1. Contact the School Designated Teacher.
  2. Contact the Head Teacher.
  3. Contact the Social Worker.
  4. Contact the Virtual School Head or the local Virtual School representative.

Email: or telephone: 01609 533231.

How can Parents and Carers support Education?

Please look here for some helpful Virtual School resources!

The information and resources available below have been designed to help support children and young people who want to undergo further learning outside of school or who are currently unable to access a school place. We hope these guides will be helpful for you and the young people in your home.

  • You can download our Early Years Learning in the Home Information and Support booklet here
  • You can download our Primary Phase Learning in the Home Information and Support booklet here
  • You can download our Secondary School Learning in the Home Information and Support booklet here
  • You can download our Post-16 Learning in the Home Information and Support booklet here

The Fostering National Minimum Standards 2011 Standard 8 outlines how carers can promote education, including pre-school and providing a learning environment outside of education settings for the child/young person.

Carers play an important role. They:

  • Help the young person to express their concerns or aspirations and advocate on their behalf.
  • Record any relevant information with regards to the child/young person's achievements and praise to encourage further progress.
  • Help children to access a range of education resources to support their learning, and have opportunities beyond the school day to engage in activities which promote learning.
  • Ensure all homework is done, liaising with the school as necessary. Very young children should have books shared, be read to daily or as part of their nightly routine; Primary aged children heard read daily and where needed, be read to, as well as helping to learn spellings and completing set homework; Secondary pupils need encouragement to complete all homework and coursework.
  • Encourage the young person to meet expectations of attendance; punctuality; uniform and to keep school informed of any challenges the young person has in meeting these.
  • Contribute to the on-going assessment of the child's educational needs and progress including the support of the Personal Education Plan (PEP) using the ePEP system. See our PEP guidance here.
  • Speak to the child's social worker or supervising social worker of any concerns.

Other resources and further guidance

For information regarding Virtual School training for parents and carers: contact the Virtual School. Email: or telephone: 01609 533231.