Revised guidance for virtual school heads and designated teachers

Closed 27 Nov 2017

Opened 16 Oct 2017


The consultation seeks views on changes to two statutory guidance documents: Promoting the education of looked after children; and Roles and responsibilities of designated teachers for looked after children following the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

Why your views matter

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 expanded the role of Virtual School Heads and designated teachers to include providing information and advice to certain previously looked after children and their families.  For many previously looked after children the impact of their pre-care experiences can continue to act as a barrier to educational progress after leaving care. The changes to the Virtual School Head and designated teacher role will help ensure previously looked after children receive support to help them achieve their full potential.

For the purposes of this consultation, the key changes introduced by the children and social work act 2017 are:

  • a duty on local authorities in England to make advice and information available to those with parental responsibility; designated teachers in maintained schools and academies; and any other person the authority considers appropriate, for the purpose of promoting the educational achievement of certain previously looked after children.
  • a duty on the governing body of a maintained school or academy proprietor in England to designate a member of staff at the school to have responsibility for promoting the educational achievement of certain previously looked after pupils.

These new duties apply to children who leave care as a result of adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement order and children adopted from state care abroad.

The consultation will run for 6 weeks.



  • Teachers
  • Headteachers
  • Governors
  • Local authorities
  • Social workers


  • Support in education