Funding boost for network which supports pupils with care experience
A leading improvement and innovation centre in Scotland has been awarded almost £60,000 by the Scottish Government to ‘bolster’ its programme designed to support pupils with care experience.
CELCIS – the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection – will use the funding to invest in the continued development of Scotland’s Virtual School Head Teachers’ Network.
Established to share learning on how virtual school head teachers (VSHTs) can best support pupils with care experience, the network is now represented in 16 local authority areas.
The scheme brings VSHTs together to consider the challenges and opportunities facing children and young people in their education, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A VSHT is a senior member of education staff in a council who works at a strategic level, with their focus on improving the educational experiences and outcomes of all care experienced children and young people in their local authority area.
They also provide key links between multi-agency teams and advocate for the needs and rights of care experienced youngsters.
Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “This additional investment of more than £59,000 will support CELCIS and the network of Virtual School Head Teachers in our shared mission to improve the lives of care experienced children and young people and their families.
“I am grateful to our partners at CELCIS and the 16 local authorities involved for their leadership, enthusiasm and commitment in driving this work forward.”
Claire Burns, director of CELCIS, said: “We know that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the challenges already faced by pupils with care experience and their families and carers. Now, as many children and young people return to school, Virtual School Head Teachers are needed more than ever to drive progress towards better educational outcomes and experiences for all.
“This additional funding will enable us to continue to strengthen the VSHT Network in Scotland, creating environments where children and their families and carers are supported; their distinct needs, which are often unseen, can be met; and their views and experiences are embedded throughout their journeys into, through and beyond formal education.
“In doing so, we remain dedicated to supporting the implementation of the UNCRC into domestic law, embedding the recommendations of the Additional Support for Learning (ASL) review, and realising The Promise of the Independent Care Review.”
Over the last year, in partnership with the Scottish Government and Education Scotland, the VSHT Network has focused on supporting children who moved to a school in a different local authority.
Among the learning shared through the briefing papers and reports the programme has published recently is a practice document which provides practical advice for schools and local authorities during the SQA 2021 exam diet.
The network provides an opportunity for all local authorities involved to link in with each other through regular meetings and build good connections, allowing them to respond quickly to meet the needs of children and their families and carers.
CELCIS established the VSHT Network in 2019 and has hosted it since then.
Why innovation and marketing are the perfect partners to make changes that matter￼
With the rapid evolution of traditional marketing and the appearance of digital marketing, technology and innovation has become part of any marketer’s life without the need of working for a…
Transitioning to a four-day week – CEO’s vow to strike a healthier balance in the workplace
I came to Scotland nearly 20 years ago from Ireland, with no contacts but a lot of determination. While Ireland will always be my home, Scotland has given me amazing…
Women Lead: The female-led company championing intuitive working
Over the last two years, the pandemic forced a shift to more remote and flexible working practices. Whilst we might be seeing a “return to normal”, some companies are choosing…
Women Lead: My passion for young people to consider a career in digital
Twenty years ago, I stumbled across my career in digital marketing almost by accident. It was during my honours degree in marketing at Glasgow Caledonian University. I was on work…
Women Lead: Inclusive Silicon Valley cohort gives hope to entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds
Things are happening on the Scottish tech scene. Big and small initiatives are creating a fantastic ripple effect on the sector, bottom up and top down, thanks to the recommendations…
Women Lead: The story of an entrepreneurial scientist
I first arrived in Scotland over 20 years ago. I had £75 in my wallet and a scholarship offer to do a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Sometimes I…
Please mind the gap… or healthcare may fall
Imagine sharing a lengthy train journey with others. From beginning to end, imagine how often you might hear ‘mind the gap’ messages about embarking and disembarking safely. Picture how navigating…
Women Lead: My journey from Dragons’ Den to Silicon Valley
Following her appearance on Dragons’ Den, Sheila Hogan, serial entrepreneur, founder and chief executive of digital legacy vault, Biscuit Tin, shares her experience of her time in the Den and…