Virtual School Inclusion Officer - Children with a Social Worker - Working for Essex
Salary: Up to £36,086 per annum
Closing date: 15 Jun 2023
Location: Chelmsford
Hours: Full-time
Req ID: 12559
Role: Education
About the role

Virtual School Inclusion Officer - Children with a Social Worker

Fixed Term, Full Time

Up to £36,086 per annum

Location: Chelmsford

Working Style: Anywhere worker

Closing Date:15th June 2023

Please note that this is a fixed term contract / secondment opportunity for a period of 24 months, both full time and term time only considered.

Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a very successful track record of delivering transformational change. ECC anticipated change was needed in the public sector and has worked to deliver better quality at lower cost. We have an ambitious transformation agenda – one with the scope to reach every part of the council. We are changing the way we think, the way we work, and the ways in which we deliver our services. We are committed to becoming a place where individuals, partners and communities feel proud to play their role and genuinely want to belong. We’re immensely proud of our flexible working options.

The Opportunity

New responsibilities for Virtual Schools were introduced in September 2021 giving them a strategic leadership role to champion the educational attendance, attainment, and progress of children with a social worker. This is a strategic leadership responsibility and does not involve working directly or responding to requests from parents/carers regarding individual children or their families. Neither does it involve taking responsibility for children with SEND who do not require or need a social worker.

The Virtual Schools Inclusion Officer for Children with a Social Worker will therefore provide advice, guidance, training and challenge to school managers, social workers, professionals and partners to remove barriers to education for children known to social care, reduce NEET and contribute to the Raising Participation Age strategy, commensurate with this strategic responsibility. This will involve contributing to cross-service arrangements to reduce exclusions and suspensions, improve attendance and raise awareness of the cohort.

The role will also entail working across services to ensure young people’s views are listened to and enabling them to contribute to the planning and delivery of services.


  • Partner with services to raise the profile of children known to social care. Accountable for the improvement of the attendance and access to education for the cohort of children with a social worker at a strategic level.
  • Responsible for monitoring and improving attendance, attainment and reducing exclusions through solution-focused consultation, training and promotion of evidence-based practice across the count, to narrow the gap in attainment and improve outcomes for children known to social care wherever they receive their education.
  • Use attendance data to identify trends of children, schools and areas of higher persistent absence and undertake appropriate support of professionals to improve attendance and remove barriers to learning.
  • Influence school leaders, social care and other professionals to progress individual and cohort-level cases to remove barriers to access to education.
  • Responsible for supporting on complex cases, working closely with the Lead for Children with a Social Worker (VS) to reduce exclusion, raise attendance and reduce the number of children missing education.
  • Provide advice, support and challenge to schools, social care and other professionals on individual cases in order to improve attendance, attainment, reduce exclusions and improve outcomes for children known to social care.
  • Support the Headteacher of Essex Virtual School in driving forward cultural, workforce and other changes necessary to ensure services cohere around children and young people’s needs and secure improved outcomes.
  • Contribute to ECC’s action plan to support a reduction in permanent exclusions, support reintegration into mainstream education and referrals process where required to support children with a social worker with SEND, ensuring education programmes are implemented quickly.
  • Specific individual and shared targets and objectives are defined annually within the performance management framework.

The Experience You Will Bring

  • Educated to RQF level 3 (A level) or equivalent by experience with recent learning and development in relation to new initiatives and the needs of children known to social care.
  • Evidence of continuing professional development and expert knowledge of legislation, regulations and guidance that relate to social care, education, attendance and exclusion and how it relates to children known to social care.
  • Proven knowledge and successful experience of intervention in the area of attendance, access and removing barriers to education.
  • Successful evidence-based experience of undertaking work to improve and resolve educational and/or social care issues through a solution-focused approach.
  • A sound understanding and knowledge of legislation, regulations and guidance that relates to social care, education, attendance and exclusion and how it relates to children known to social care.
  • Ability to work in partnership with school managers and social care practitioners advocating for children known to social care, providing advice, support or challenge, whilst maintaining a positive working relationship.
  • Evidence of working with school managers, governors or social care on establishing and monitoring school or social care improvement plans, including target setting and identifying improvement strategies for individual or groups of children.
  • Extensive experience of interagency working to achieve best outcomes for children known to social care.
  • A sound understanding of safeguarding issues and the SET procedures.

To read more about us please visit: Education

Why Essex?

Essex County Council has a location to be proud of. Our 1,300 square miles stretch from Constable Country to the Thames Estuary, from the dynamic M11 corridor to the traditional seaside resorts of Clacton and Walton. England’s oldest town, Colchester, and two of its newest – Basildon and Harlow – are right here. Along with the City of Chelmsford, the county town, they form our major population centres. It means real choice and makes Essex the ideal place for your career. Read more about us here.

Essex County Council is proud to be a Disability Confident Leader. We’re committed to interview all disabled applicants who choose to apply under our Job Interview Scheme if they meet the minimum requirements of the job. Please speak to our Recruiters if you require any reasonable adjustments during the process.

We’re also committed to interview all veterans and care leavers, who meet the minimum requirements of the role for which they are applying.

What you should do next

If you are interested in finding out more about this role, we would love to hear from you. Please apply via the Working for Essex website.

As part of employment with Essex County Council (ECC) should your role require a DBS check you will be required to register with the DBS update service. The DBS update service ensures all registered DBS certificates are kept up to date and allows authorised parties to view the status of your certificate. This is an annual subscription, and you will be responsible for ensuring this is maintained. For further information on the DBS update service please go to

Essex County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment.

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If you have queries on this role or require anything further, please email

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