Virtual School

Our Offer for Looked After Children

We have a team of teachers who provide direct support to individual looked after children. We have primary and secondary specialists in Maths, English and Science.

We use a range of evidenced based approaches, including Reading Recovery, Success@Arithmetic and the Sandwell Maths Assessments, to help fill gaps in knowledge and prepare children and young people for school assessments and examinations. We have Educational Psychologists who can provide a range of assessments, interventions and advice. We also provide other intervention programmes including ‘Thrive’, ‘Team Pupil’ and ‘The Key Programme’. More information about these are available on our website.

Our Educational Psychologists support with assessing learning needs in a timely way, provide advice and consultations to schools, carers and social workers and deliver a range of training.

We monitor the Personal Education Plans and distribute the Pupil Premium Plus for looked after children. The Pupil Premium Plus is shared with schools but also provides an enhanced virtual school offer, crisis support when needed and is used to purchase additional home learning resources and fund enrichment activities.

We provide a range of training to schools, carers and other professionals about supporting the education of looked after and previously looked after children and run termly network meetings for Designated teachers

 Our Offer for Previously Looked After Children

The HIVE Team, Virtual School Offer, is for pupils attending North Tyneside schools who have been previously looked after and have now achieved permanency through being adopted, living under a Special Guardianship Order or a Child Arrangement Order.

Schools receive the Pupil Premium Plus of £2345 for all previously looked after children, where their parents/guardians have notified the school of their eligibility. The school’s Designated Teacher now has oversight for previously looked after children and is responsible for this funding and how it is used in school.

The Virtual School staff are available to offer advice and guidance to schools, social workers and families via our website, email or phone.

For more complex cases, we offer an Educational Psychology Consultation in school with parents / guardians to better understand the situation. This enables us to provide more detailed advice and guidance.

Our occupational therapist can provide a consultation for more complex cases too.

We have some training materials on our website for our In Balance Together programme, that supports with regulation and building stronger relationships. This can be accessed by all, alongside links to other websites we think could be useful.

We also offer face to face training sessions on how to support children and young people with Maths and English, the emotional support available in North Tyneside, The THRIVE Approach for families, the teenage brain, Friends Resilience and have just developed a Therapeutic Parenting programme. Please check our website for training dates.

Who’s Who?

Virtual School Head

Head of The Virtual School for Looked After and previously Looked After Children Jane Pickthall manages and co-ordinates education support, monitors progress and has strategic input across the local authority.

Senior Teacher for Looked After Children

Secondary English Specialist Frances Brady offers direct support in school for children and young people to help boost GCSE grades, support transition and improve basic skills. Frances is also a licensed Thrive practitioner and member of the British Dyslexia Association.

Secondary Maths and Science Specialist

Steve Laidler offers direct support to key stage 4 pupils to improve GCSE outcomes in maths and science. Steve has also developed an offer for key stage 3 to help children catch up with missed learning.

Secondary Maths and English Specialist

Jane Raffell offers direct support to key stage 3 and 4 pupils to improve GCSE outcomes in maths and English.

Primary  Specialist

Primary Specialist Christine Petty offers direct support in school particularly those in primary school requiring additional literacy and numeracy support.

Educational Psychologist

Wendy Jackson is the lead educational psychologist but we benefit from the expertise of others in the Educational Psychology Service. The Educational Psychologists provide consultations and offer direct interventions.

Connexions Personal Adviser

Gail Waldon offers advice to young people about Post 16 options. Provides on-going monitoring and evaluation of placements and qualifications post 16.


PEP Guides


Nursery PEP


School Age PEP


Post 16 PEP