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All children have a right to an education. For children and young people with care experience this may mean that additional support is required during their time in school to meet their distinct, and often unseen, needs. One of key goals of Virtual School Head Teachers (VSHTs) and Care Experienced Teams (CETs) is to help create environments where care experienced learners will feel more settled, motivated, and resilient. This, in turn, will help to improve attendance, educational outcomes, and contribute to better life chances.

This diverse range of case studies offers an insight into the role of VSHTs and CETs in Scotland. They provide examples of how VSHTs and CETs are using creativity, compassion, communication to establish new, innovative, and alternative ways of supporting care experienced children and young people during their education journey to ensure a better experience at school.

To find out more information about Scotland’s VSHT Network, which is hosted and supported by CELCIS, visit our webpage.

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If you're a VSHT or CET in Scotland and would like to contribute your own case study or join the VSHT Network, get in touch with Linda O'Neill, Education Lead at CELCIS.

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A pupil learning to sail a dinghy

Zara's story: Sailing to success

In this example, find out how Kimberley, the VSHT for South Ayrshire Council, worked with her team and a range of professionals to provide intensive support for one care experienced young person, Zara, during a difficult time in her life.

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Schoolchildren running out of class

Jamie's story: Enhanced transition support

In this example, find out how Larissa, the VSHT for Aberdeen City, developed a bespoke plan and support for Jamie, a care experienced young person, who, at the time, lived away from Aberdeen City in another local authority area in England.

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Pupils all trying to answer a question in class by raising their hand

Care experienced groups: ‘Sounding out’

In this example, find out how Emma, the VSHT in Aberdeenshire, supported and grew ‘care experienced groups’ for children and young people with care experience to meet together, plan activities and share their experiences.

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A teacher helping a pupil at her desk

The Virtual School: Multiple Levels of Support 

In this example, find out how Mary Jane, the VSHT for North Lanarkshire Council, used data to develop a new Virtual School service to respond to the needs of children, families and those who teach and support them.

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A teacher at a computer surrounded by pupils

Creating a pathway to success

In this example, find out how Scott, the VSHT for the Scottish Borders Council, worked alongside local partners to collect and use data and statistics to develop and adjust services for care experienced learners transitioning to further study.

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