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Who We Are

The Virtual School is a team of teachers and dedicated education professionals who work to support the education of Gloucestershire Children in Care and care leavers, although our children also remain the responsibility of the school at which they are enrolled.

The team is a small multi-disciplinary team working to raise the educational attainment and school attendance of children and young people. We work in close collaboration with colleagues across the authority, but also in partnership with other areas. We track educational progress and implement and monitor interventions to help young people in care to achieve their full potential. We also make a strong contribution towards supporting schools, social workers and foster carers with education training.


The Team (Download our structure here)



Contact Details


Jane Featherstone

01452 328371 – 07917263345


Head Teacher

(Strategic Lead)

Pip Walker

01452 328362 – 07769882201


Targeted Intervention Co-ordinator

(SLT, Data Tracking, Training)

Sue Faulkner

01452 328361 - 07919544282


Personal Education Plan and Progess Lead

(SLT, Pupil Premium, ePEP, P16, UASC)

Felicity Halsey

01452 328370



(SLT, Special Schools, Gov Training)

Jackie Ellis


01452 328770 – 07876391620


Inclusion Lead

(SLT, Attendance, Exclusions, CME & APS, & Safeguarding Lead)

Daniel Gillingham

01452 328365 - 07770581943


Wider Outcomes Lead

(SLT, Primary, Wider Outcomes, Website & Social Media, Student Voice/CinC Council, Mentoring, Letterbox)

Liana Aron

01452 328363 - 07775587510


Co-ordinator for Learning Mentors

(SLT, Tutor Groups, Primary)

Sally Palmer

01452 328364 - 07833058724


Learning Mentor

(Early Years)

Carole Worley

01452 328367 - 07770730423


Learning Mentor


Catherine Ellicott

01452 328379 - 07825974027


Learning Mentor

(Primary, Secondary, SENDCO Support)

Rebecca Cerrone

01452 328359 - 07771998706


Learning Mentor


Laura White (Mat Cover)

01452 328366 - 07818012376


Learning Mentor


Sue Cowley

01452 328372


Learning Mentor

(Edge of Care and SGO)

Penny Metcalfe

01452 328534 - 07919544576


Education Support


Rachel Evans

01452 328373


ePEP & Pupil Premium Support Officer

Lisa Mealing

01452 328360


Virtual School Administrator


See below for some of our team roles.


In the main, the role of the Learning Mentor (LM) is to raise attainment of students looked after by Gloucestershire Local Authority by taking responsibility for tracking and coordinating support and interventions for a group of learners in care in order to achieve their academic potential. All members of staff at the Virtual School have a caseload of young people where they are responsible for ensuring that the Personal Education Plan process is followed and in consultation with the school and social worker that the Pupil Premium Plus is spent effectively and appropriately. The LM will also help ensure that PEPs are of high quality.

Some members of staff, in addition to being a LM, have additional roles. See the staff structure above for more information.


In line with the need for early help and early intervention The Virtual School have appointed an Edge of Care Learning Mentor who works to support and challenge children, schools, parents and other professionals to better meet the educational needs of children and young people.  The post helps raise the attainment and school attendance of vulnerable children working alongside social care professionals to help prevent children coming in to care. The Learning Mentor will liaise with families and key workers about learner's education and to signpost other sources of support, information and advice as needed.


A growing number of children are now being placed with family, friends and in some cases foster carers under Special Guardianship Orders; a private law order made under the Children's Act 1989. The special guardian has clear responsibility for all day to day decisions about caring for the child and their upbringing. The parents are still legally the child's parents but their parental responsibility is limited. Just because these children and young people have some permanency, similarly to adopted children they continue to face many of the struggles encountered by children in care. There is a Learning Mentor in post at The Virtual School who works closely with the Friends and Family Fostering Team to oversee and advise on the education of children and young people under Special Guardianship orders, supporting schools and Guardians where necessary and signposting to other sources of support where needed.


Educational support for adopted children

There is a growing recognition that children who have been adopted continue to face many of the struggles encountered by children in care; hence most adopted children are now entitled to priority school admissions and Pupil Premium Plus. Gloucestershire Virtual School has an Education Support worker who has the remit to advise and support adoptive families, working closely with the Gloucestershire Adoption Team.

Some of the responsibilities within this role include helping with challenging school transitions when children move to an adoptive placement and supporting adoptive parents in meeting with schools to review, problem solve or advise on the use of Pupil Premium Plus.


The role of the Early Years Learning Mentor is similar to the other Learning Mentors in that I have a caseload of the youngest children in care; children from birth to five years old.

An outline of the work that I do is:

  • Attending Personal Education Plan meetings for Children in Care from the age of 3 years old
  • Advising and supporting both foster carer’s, prospective adoptive parents and social workers about educational placements
  • Attending and assisting with  My Plan, My Plan+ and Education Health Care Plan review meetings
  • Recording and assimilating data about children’s academic progress and any support they may need or have
  • Highlight to professionals that all Children in Care qualify for the Achieving 2 Year Old funding the term after their second birthday
  • Link with the finance team to ensure they have the current information about Children in Care who qualify for the Early Years Pupil Premium between the ages of 3 and 4 years old even if the children are living out of County
  • Liaise with the School Admissions Department and children’s Social Workers  to ensure an application for a school place has been made for the pre-school children
  • Offer support and information to professionals and prospective adopters with regard to finding a new school at any time throughout the academic year
  • Liaise with the Early Years  team to ensure Early Years Locality Advisors are aware of any Children in Care who are attending settings within their area
  • Manage and run the Imagination Library scheme for my caseload.  The scheme was set up by Dolly Parton to encourage children’s love for reading books. Each month a reading book is sent to all of the children within this age range


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