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Virtual School Education Officer

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

We’re recruiting an Education Officer to join our Virtual School team on a fixed term basis for 18 months.

The Milton Keynes Virtual School promotes and champions the education of children who are looked after, previously looked after, have a social worker or kinship care arrangements. We have an established set of clear policies, protocols and procedures to guide our work and enable us to act as advocates for the children we support. This involves direct work with professionals supporting children by providing advice and guidance, supporting the completion of Personal Education Plans (PEPs) and the deploying of resources to support educational achievement.

We are a small, focused and dedicated team of professionals who guide and challenge professionals at the city council as well as foster carers, families and schools.

We work wherever our Looked After Children are placed so some travel will be required, although much of our work is undertaken virtually.

The successful candidate will help us develop, maintain and increase the high standards of education for a caseload of looked after children as well as being the first point of contact for professionals and families seeking support for previously looked after children and those in kinship care arrangements.

Applicants to this post will be required to complete the appropriate level of Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Main Responsibility

  • Manage a caseload of looked after children, liaising with and advising individual Designated Teachers and Social Workers, ensuring PEP meetings are organised and PEPs are completed to a high standard; attending PEP meetings as required. This will also involve securing timely school admissions and/or educational provision for children on the allocated caseload.
  • The first point of contact for families and professionals seeking support for children who are previously looked after or in kinship care arrangements.
  • This role will involve gathering information and providing advice and guidance on next steps, potentially attending meetings as required to overcome barriers to education for this specific cohort of children.
  • Take the lead on contributing to the Virtual School resources, support sessions and training programme delivered to all stakeholders working specifically with previously looked after children and children in kinship care arrangements.

The Ideal Candidate

  • Experience of working with vulnerable children and young people with an understanding of the complex issues facing care experienced children and how this can impact on their learning needs and academic attainment.
  • Experience of teaching and learning, ideally with an understanding of children and young people with special educational needs.
  • Enjoys managing their own caseload, setting their own priorities and working to tight deadlines.
  • Great communication skills as you'll need to work both as a part of a team and individually to build positive relationships with children, parents/carers, social workers and education settings.
  • Travelling to educational settings is an integral part of this role and therefore the candidate is required to have a full UK driving licence, along with access to a vehicle. Evidence of the driving licence and vehicle insurance with business insurance will be required from the candidate should they be offered this position. 
  • Should you be offered the role, as part of the pre-employment checks an Enhanced DBS will be actioned for you (unless you are on the DBS Update Service).

Package Description

In addition to your salary, we offer a range of benefits including:

  • Great holiday benefits - most roles include 28 days annual leave every year on top of public (bank) holidays, increasing to 32 days after five years.  In addition, there is a holiday purchase scheme allowing staff to purchase up to 5 additional days of leave each year.
  • Excellent pension – everyone who works for us can join the national Local Government Pension Scheme, widely regarded as one of the best available.
  • A full range of family friendly policies including enhanced maternity, adoption and paternity support and a childcare subsidy.
  • Access to an award-winning employee benefits programme that includes a health cash plan, a low-cost bike purchase scheme as well as high street discounts and money off entertainment and travel.
  • Blue Light Card - employees working within social care can qualify for an additional range of discounts from national retailers and local businesses.

Our roles are either designated ‘site based’ or ‘home based’. ‘Site based’ roles can include up to two days a week working from home whilst ‘home based’ roles are based at home four days a week.  Of course, managers designate which category roles are in based on the needs of the service and the circumstances.

About The Organisation

Milton Keynes City Council is a large, modern and financially stable employer with around 2,500 people working across our eight areas. Together we provide local residents and businesses with a wide range of important round-the-clock services and aim to make our city a better place to live.

We work hard because of the demands placed on us, like protecting children from harm or preventing homelessness. However, working for the city is always rewarding and everyone has the opportunity to make a real difference. 

We’re very proud of our diversity and are committed to having a workforce that reflects the community we serve. Whatever your background, you will be welcome here if you share our values of being dedicated, respectful and collaborative.

We offer great training and support and because of the size and scale of the organisation there are always new opportunities to explore when it’s time for a new role.

If you’d like to know more about how we do things and what matters to us, take a look at our short booklet What makes us Milton Keynes City Council.

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