What is The HOPE Virtual School

The HOPE, Bristol's Virtual School, exists to promote the education of children in care and those who have been in care (looked after children and previously looked after children).

The HOPE is for children and young people who are in the care of or a care leaver of Bristol and either educated in Bristol or by another local authority.

We support children aged 2 to 18. We also continue to offer advice and guidance to young people aged 18 to 25, who have been in care, if they:

  • are still in education
  • have an active Education, Health and Care Plan and need support to access education

The HOPE doesn't have its own school building. We have a staff team that supports young people, their carers and other adults that work with them. Our pupils go to real schools or education settings and access their learning there. We work with the staff in those settings so we can monitor and track how well our young people are doing.

We also have information and advice about previously looked after children.

Our vision and values

Our vision is in The HOPE's logo: Helping our Pupils Excel.

Our three core values are:

  • aspiration
  • collaboration
  • respect
Why we need a virtual school

Many children and young people in care do well at school. However, as a group, children in care don't do as well in their education as other children.

Every local authority in England has a statutory duty to promote the educational achievement of these children. We do this through our virtual school.

What we do

We act as part of the corporate parenting structure for Bristol's children in care and those who were in care. This means we:

  • encourage them to let us know how they're feeling about their education
  • use their feedback to help make the best decisions for them
  • help them receive support to ensure they make good progress in their education
  • help them access services provided by us and other organisations
  • prepare them for adulthood and further education, training or employment

We check how Bristol's children in care and those who have been in care are doing in their education by meeting and working with:

  • our young people
  • their schools and education settings
  • their social care staff
  • their carers

This helps us to understand the young person's experience of education and the progress they're making. We then work with the people supporting the young person, to make sure the support is in place to help them achieve their potential in education.

Who we work with

We work with other local authorities and other council departments.

Other local authorities

We work with other local authorities to find and provide advice and guidance when either:

  • Bristol children in care move to another local authority
  • children in care with another local authority move into Bristol

This might include advice on finding appropriate education provision and key contacts within the authority.

Other departments in the council

We work with other council departments including:

Other organisations we work with

  • independent fostering agencies
  • the NHS
  • not for profit organisations such as the National Citizen Service
  • nurses for looked after children
  • training or apprenticeship providers for our post 16 young people
The HOPE Virtual School team

You can contact The HOPE's headteacher if you have a question about systems or policies to do with the education of a child in care.

Contact the relevant staff member if you're looking for individual advice or support for a pupil.

Contact us

Contact us

Email: thehope@bristol.gov.uk
Call: 0117 903 6282
Write: The HOPE Virtual School (CH), PO Box 3399, Bristol, BS3 9NE

Learning City Logo