What is Jersey Virtual School
The Virtual School is not a physical building, or an educational institution. It gives an extra layer of support for children and young people who:
- are currently in care
- who have been in care in the past
- are leaving care
It makes sure they have access to extra funding and that it’s used to support their individual learning and development. This funding is known as Jersey Premium.
Every child and young person has a Personal Education Plan (PEP). This sets out how their nursery, school, college or education setting will use this extra funding to help them succeed. The PEP is agreed by the child or young person, and the people around them. It is updated every term.
To agree their PEP the Virtual School works with:
- parents and carers
- social workers
- the child and young person
- any other professional working with them
It’s also responsible for quality assuring PEPs and releasing the funding needed to complete the PEPs.
The Virtual School:
- makes sure schools spend the extra funding on improving educational outcomes for the child or young person
- provides children and young people with support in term time
- provides activity programmes outside of term time
Find examples of the activities included in the Jersey Virtual School handbook.
Jersey Virtual School handbook
Information for professionals
If you’re supporting a child or young person who is accessing the Virtual School, you’ll have access to regular training.
You can also find more information in the Jersey Virtual School handbook, which you should review regularly.
Jersey Virtual School handbook
Children and young people currently looked after automatically access support from the Virtual School.
For those who have been previously looked after, parents or guardians must provide written permission for the child or young person to receive support. Teachers should use the wording in the below template and put it on to the school’s letter ahead.
Application for child and young person previously in care Jersey Premium
The following policies support the education of children who are looked after and children who have been previously looked after.
Education of Looked After Children Policy
Information for parents and carers
Getting support from Jersey Virtual School
If you’re the foster carer of a child or young person, they will automatically be supported by the Virtual School.
If your child was previously in foster care, or lived in a children’s home, you’ll need to confirm that you’re happy for the school to receive Jersey Premium funding for your child’s education. The school should write to you requesting your permission.
You can give your permission by completing this form and returning it to the school.
Permission form for child to receive the child who is care experienced Jersey Premium
Once your child has access to the Jersey Virtual School, they’ll have extra support from a designated teacher and caseworker.
The designated teacher is allocated by their school. They act as the child or young person’s advocate and develop a strong relationship with them. They’ll prepare, arrange and lead the termly PEP meetings. All designated teachers have access to relevant training.
The caseworker is a member of the Virtual School team who monitors the support in place for your child, which is set out in the PEP.
You can find out more about the process for termly PEP meetings in the below flowchart.
Personal Education Plan (PEP) meetings flowchart
As a parent or carer, you have a key role in supporting your child’s education. This means that you will be involved in the Personal Education Plan (PEP) process from start to finish.
Before your child’s first PEP meeting, you should meet with your social worker (if you have one) and the child or young person’s designated teacher to discuss their academic and personal goals.
You’ll always be invited to your child’s PEP meeting. You’ll work alongside all the professionals involved to make sure the best outcomes from the child.
Information for children and young people
The Jersey Virtual School is not like other schools. It does not have:
- a playground
- a building
It’s a group of people who help you to learn, develop, and grow if you:
- live with a foster carer or other family member
- used to live with a foster carer or other family member
- live in a children's home
- used to live in a children's home
The Virtual School helps you outside and inside your school. You still go to your usual school but you’ll get extra support.
Outside of school
The Virtual School will give you the chance to try new things. It’ll organise activities during school hours and over the holidays like:
- forest school
- farm visits
- Jump Jersey
- rock climbing
- lots of other activities
The Virtual School team will work with:
- your parents or carers
- your social worker, if you have one
You'll all meet once a term to talk about what support will help you at school. The support you get is set out in your Personal Education Plan (PEP).
We’ll work with you to make sure you get extra help from your school to succeed. This will be different depending on what your needs and goals are. For example:
- you might have an extra member of staff work closely with you
- access to specific tutoring or activities
- special equipment to help you learn
Your Designated Teacher will make sure you can set and achieve goals that are important to you. There might be certain skills you want to work on, or goals that you want to achieve. If you’re in Year 9 or above, your goals might link to the job you’d like to do when you’re older.
The Jersey Virtual School Team will make sure you can have your say in the support you get through your Personal Education Plan (PEP). You have a right to be involved in any decisions that are made about you. This means that you can attend PEP meetings with the Jersey Virtual School, your school, and your social worker, if you have one.
If you’re nervous about these meetings, the Jersey Virtual School team will make sure you that you have help to talk about what is important to you.
How it works
You’re already part of the Jersey Virtual School if you live with a foster or connected carer or live in a children’s home.
If you used to live with a foster carer, or live in a children's home, then your school will write to your parent or carer. They’ll need to agree for you to join the Virtual School.
Once you’re part of the Virtual School, you’ll have designated teacher. They will help you take part in the Jersey Virtual School.
You’ll also have a caseworker from the Jersey Virtual School. They will talk to your school and make sure you're getting the extra support you need.
Your Personal Education Plan (PEP)
The extra support you need will be written in your Personal Education Plan (PEP). Your PEP sets out what your goals are for the next school term, and how your school will help you achieve them.
Your PEP is about you, and that means that you get to help write it. Every term, you can attend a PEP meeting to talk about what you want to achieve.
There will be lots of people at the PEP meeting, including your:
- designated teacher
- parent or carer
- Jersey Virtual School caseworker
- social worker, if you have one
Once your PEP is agreed your school will receive money to give you the extra support you need. At the next meeting, you'll get to talk about how the extra support helped you, and what you'd like to happen next.
Have your say
The Jersey Virtual School is here to help you. Everyone involved should have a chance to listen to what you have to say. That's why you'll be invited to your PEP meeting every term.
You do not have to wait until your PEP meeting to have your say. You can talk to your caseworker or designated teacher about:
- how you feel about the PEP meeting
- whether the support you get is working
- how your caseworker and designated teacher work with you
You can also email the Jersey Virtual School on