What the Virtual School is

We are Dorset Council's Virtual School for children in care (CiC). We also provide education for previously looked after children (PLAC).

Our school exists to improve the education and life chances of these children.

Our learners range from 3 to 18 years old and attend real schools or educational settings. The Designated Teacher of each real school provides us with information about our learners and their progress. We track each young person through their education. Our Virtual School team can advise what support is available to help our learners achieve their outcomes.

Virtual School learners

Our school is responsible for 4 groups of children and young people which are:

  • Dorset children in care educated in Dorset
  • Dorset children in care educated in other local authorities
  • adopted children who were previously looked after
  • children who are under special guardianship orders (SGO) who were previously looked after

We work with schools and educational settings

We work with schools and educational settings by:

  • working with Designated Teachers to track the progress of individual children. This includes attainment and attendance
  • providing guidance on individual situations
  • providing training to Designated Teachers
  • paying Pupil Premium Plus funding to settings based on needs identified in their Personal Education Plan (PEP)

We work with social care staff

We work with social care staff by:

  • advising social workers on choosing a school and on specific issues around the education of our learners
  • attending PEP meetings
  • advising and updating social care staff on educational issues

We support parents and carers

We advise parents and carers on specific issues about their child's education.

Meet our Dorset Virtual School team

Principal Teacher/Virtual School Head

Name: Lisa Linscott
Email: lisa.linscott@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Tel: 01305 228309
Full contact details

Virtual School SENCO

Name: Emily Clark
Email: emily.clark@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details

Virtual School Data and Assessment Specialist Teacher

Name: Richard Osment
Email: richard.osment@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details

Virtual School Specialist Teacher for Attachment

Name: Gill Oldfield
Email: gill.oldfield@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details

Virtual school leads in our localities

Virtual School Leads - East Locality

Name: Jo Edington and Miranda Duurloo
Email: jo.edington@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details

Virtual School Leads - Chesil Locality

Name: Amanda Powell
Email: amanda.powell@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details

Virtual School Lead - Dorchester Locality

Name: Jennie Crawley
Email: jennie.crawley@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details

Virtual School Lead - North Locality

Name: Natalie Coleman
Email: natalie.cochrane@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details

Virtual School Lead - Purbeck Locality

Name: Helen Coleman
Email: helen.coleman@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details

Virtual School Lead - West Locality

Name: Sonia Balchin
Email: sonia.balchin@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Full contact details

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