Celebrating London’s Virtual School ‘Shining Stars’

Old Library Print Room

Virtual Schools are statutory across England and exist to promote the education of children and young people placed in care and those who are previously looked after. They promote the importance of education in improving life chances and opportunities. Virtual Schools have an impressive track record and are highly valued by corporations, Local Authorities and the Department for Education. Their success is due to the dedication of all involved and the excellent communication they provide between social care and education colleagues.

To raise awareness of Virtual Schools and showcase the remarkable achievements of care experienced children and young people, the Virtual School community across London came together this Summer to celebrate at a Shining Stars Pan London Ceremony.

This Shining Stars event celebrated the educational achievement of students from Virtual Schools from twenty-three boroughs, highlighting their children and young people’s hard work and determination, in the face of adversity. Students received awards in the form of £100 gift vouchers, generously provided by TLC LIVE, a company famous for providing excellent online tuition. TLC LIVE currently provides tutoring for schools for over half of all virtual schools in England.

The ceremony was supported by the City of London Corporation and held in the historic Old Library at The Guildhall. At the event, Virtual Schools were congratulated for successfully raising attendance, attainment and achievement.

Since September 2021, Virtual Schools have taken on extended duties to include supporting and promoting the education of all children with a social worker. These duties have been embraced by Virtual School Headteachers, who, in many cases, have increased staffing to meet the new demands.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan sent an uplifting video message that was played at The Shining Stars ceremony and the awards were presented to the children and young people by the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Felicity Lyons; London’s Deputy Mayor, Joanne McCartney; Ian Thomas, Town Clerk to The City of London; Ruby Sayed, City of London Councillor; and Simon Barnes, CEO of TLC LIVE.

By Debby Rigby, Virtual School Headteacher for Children with a Social Worker in The City of London