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Agenda item

Durham Virtual School Education Update - Report of Head of Virtual School


The Panel considered a report of Christine Stonehouse, Head of the Virtual School, which provided an update on key priorities and developments to improve educational outcomes for looked after children, based on the outcomes for 2018 (for copy of report see file of minutes).


Councillor Charlton referred to Forest Schools and C Baines explained that these offer children a hands-on, learning experience in a natural environment, designed to complement the curriculum.


In response to a question from Councillor Grant, the Head of the Virtual School explained that the inclusion base has 3 members of staff and inclusion support is available at Key Stages 1 / 2 with bridge provision at Key Stage 3. 


The Chair expressed concern that the cost to Academies may be a disincentive.  The Head of the Virtual School responded that maintained schools pay in advance, so it is unfair to expect Academies to receive the same support as maintained schools, without contributing.  Academies are merely being asked to pay in a different way.  However, the Academy offer is being developed and consideration is being given to allowing Academies to pay in advance too.  The Head of the Virtual School advised that the situation is being very closely monitored.




That the report be noted. 


Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714