About Virtual School Heads

Local authorities have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of any child looked after by them

This includes a particular duty to promote the child’s educational achievements

The National Association of Virtual School Heads exists to improve educational outcomes for looked after children by working with partners and commissioning research to ensure that the educational needs of looked after children are better understood.

All local authorities in England are required to have a Virtual School Head.

The Children and Families Act 2014 requires local authorities in England to appoint at least one person for the purpose of discharging the local authority’s duty to promote the educational achievement of its looked after children. That person – the virtual school head (VSH) - must be an officer employed by the local authority or, where local authorities agree to collaborate or share the role, another local authority in England.