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



Contact Details


Jane Featherstone


01452 328371 – 07917263345


Head Teacher

(Strategic Lead/Head of Service)

Pip Walker


01452 328362 – 07770581943


Targeting and Intervention Co-ordinator

(SLT, Data Tracking, Training)

Sue Faulkner


01452 328361 - 07776633617


Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator

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

Jackie Ellis



01452 328770 - 07771506525


Inclusion Lead

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

Aron, Liana


01452 328363 - 07775587510


Reception - Year 11 Education Adviser,

Tutor Groups

Cerrone, Rebecca  

01452 328359 - 07771998706


Reception - Year 11 Education Adviser, Tutor Agency Lead


Cowley, Sue  

01452 328372 - 07585888233


Reception - Year 11 Education Adviser

Broady, Karla  

01452 328379 - 07825974027


Reception - Year 11 Education Adviser.


Gatley, Mikala


01452 328582 - 07775036719 mikala.gatley@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Reception - Year 11 Education Adviser

Hencher, Felicity  

01452 328747 - 07826900400 felicity.hencher@Gloucestershire.gov.uk

Reception - Year 11 Education Adviser


Metcalfe, Penny


01452 328534 - 07919544576


Reception - Year 11 Education Adviser


Palmer, Sally  

01452 328364 - 07833058724 sally.palmer@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Reception - Year 11 Education Adviser


Poulson, Fiona  

01452 325459 - 07741097117 fiona.poulson@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Education Adviser

(Post 16)

Hopper, Nicola  

01452 328860 - 07766992025


PLAC Education Adviser

Evans, Rachel


01452 328373 rachel.evans@gloucestershire.gov.uk

ePEP & Pupil Premium Support Officer

Harris, Sarah


01452 328360


Virtual School Student Support Officer


See below for some of our team roles.


In the main, the role of the Education Advisor 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 Education Advisors will also help ensure that PEPs are of high quality.

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


Special Guardianship Support

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 an Education Advisor 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.

Adopted Children

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.


We have a member of staff who oversees Early Years in addition to being an Education Advisor.

The role includes

  • Providing advice and guidance to early years settings and social workers to ensure the PEP meeting is held and completed for all 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, this includes applications, transitions for educational settings and any stage of the SEN Code of Practice
  • 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 Gloucestershire Children in Care, who all qualify for the Early Years Pupil Premium from the term after their third birthday until they start school, even if the children are living outside of Gloucestershire.
  • 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
  • Liaise with the Early Years team and Data Analyst to ensure Early Years Locality Leads are aware of any Children in Care who are attending settings within their areas
  • Oversight of the the Imagination Library scheme


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