• Virtual School for Children in Care

    • The Virtual School for Children in Care East Sussex works with Children and Young People (early years up to 25 if progressing in education) who are in, or have been in, the care of East Sussex.

      Our Mission

      Children and Young People in Care will make good educational progress. No young person will leave care without employment, education or training

      Extra support

      We are here to help you with your educational journey, if you have a query about this just ask us and we will help.

      • Will help advise and support you as best we can throughout your educational journey
      • May be able to offer additional support post 16 with tutoring, equipment.
      • We have good  links with Universities and opportunities for summer Schools from year 10 upwards

      Meet the team

      Mandy Lewis – Head of School

      Zoe Grove – Admin

      Emma James - Admin

      Suzie Ive- Education support Officer – Early Years

      Lisa Tweedie-Walker – Education Support Officer – East of County

      Leslea Markwick - Primary Education Adviser - Countywide

      Lisa Hammond – Caseworker – East of County

      Sarah King-Spooner - Caseworker - East & West of the County

      Louisa Morley- Caseworker – West of the County

      Ann Ford - Caseworker - West of County

      Alicia Horridge - East & West of County

      Liz Highman – 16+ Caseworker – Countywide

      Kate Lewis - Widening Participation PA

      Contact Virtual School East Sussex:

      Telephone: 01323 464630

      Email: CSVirtual.School@eastsussex.gov.uk 


      YES Contacts

      Vicki Wood - East of the County  

      Dan Vernon - West of the County


      Key contacts at College

      • The colleges all have a key contact for Children Looked After (CLA)/ Care leavers (CL), when you apply to college your Social worker or Personal Advisor will let you know who this is at your college.

      Financial Support at College

      • If you are under 19 years and are in, or have been in, the care of East Sussex you will be entitled to a Bursary (if you have applied for one). Your Social Worker or Personal Advisor (PA) will need to send the college a letter confirming your Looked After Child Status.
      • The bursary is to support travel and Equipment. These Bursaries will be linked to attendance and completion of work.
      • Some Colleges also have discretionary grants that can be applied for, for older students.

      Advanced Learner Loans:                                                                                  Image result for Advanced Learner loan Logo

      In England, students can now apply for the Advanced Learner Loan to help with the costs at college or training provider.

      Use the eligibility tool to see if you are able to apply for this loan.

      PEP (Personal Education Plan)

      As a Child looked After/Care leaver you are entitled to a Personal Education Plan (PEPs), these will take place once a term.

      PEPs present the opportunity for:
      • Your views to be heard
      • For your achievements to be celebrated
      • To discuss any additional support (if needed)
      • To check you are receiving your bursary
      • To discuss future progress ex: continued study at College, Apprenticeships, University or employment


      • If you are living Independently or in Supported Lodgings the Virtual School may be able to contribute towards the cost of travel and essential equipment
      • East Sussex County Council will pay for your lunch and travel when you complete an apprenticeship with them.
        • If you are 16+ and interested in these opportunities then please ask your Social Worker or Personal Advisor for more information

      Work Experience

      • East Sussex County Council may be able to offer work experience opportunities within different areas of the Council.
        • If you are 16+ and interested in Work Experience then ask your Social Worker or Personal Advisor for more information.

      For more help and advice about apprenticeships and work experience please contact YES &/or  CSVirtual.School@eastsussex.gov.uk 

      Higher Education

      Ensure to discuss your plans with your Social Worker and/or Personal Advisor and that these are documented in your pathway plan. 

      Support offered in Higher Education:

      • All Young People going to University will have their accommodation paid (Link up with your Personal Advisor)
      • The University you have applied for may guarantee accommodation in the Universities halls of residence for your first year of study.
      • You will receive up to £2000 bursary.
      • You will be supported in applying for additional finance and maintenance grants via student finance.
      • Universities often provide additional bursaries. You are advised to link up with the named person at university and the widening participation teams
      • If you get the opportunity to do an Internship as part of your University course, you will have accommodation paid and a contribution towards travel expenses can be considered on an individual need basis.
      • The Virtual School will fund UCAS applications if school/bursaries etc not available.
      • The Virtual School will support costs linked to interviews.

      Useful HE Websites

       Propel offers a way to explore what support is available to you in Higher Education, Where and what you can study  

      Higher Education student Loans:

      Please click on the images below for Student Finance information:

                   Image result for Student finance England         Image result for Quick Start Student finance guide   

      Image result for Student finance NI logo     Image result for Student finance Scotland         Image result for Student finance Wales                

      A guide for Estranged Students who are applying for independent status (PDF)

      Repaying your Student Loan

      Other Opportunities

      Summer School Opportunities

      Sussex University -- Year 10 and Year 12 Summer Schools 

      The Year 10 and 12 Summer schools off students a chance to taster University life for 4/5 days, live on campus and undertake academic work in the area of your choice.

      For more information and to apply online

      Compact Plus offers a chance for Students to attend Summer Schools, taster lectures and workshops, shadow students and experience student life.

      University of Brighton – Compact Plus