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Looked After Children

The governing body of an academy must ensure that an appropriately qualified and experienced member of staff (known as the Designated Teacher) undertakes the responsibilities within the school to promote the educational achievement of looked-after and previously looked-after children on the school’s roll. They must also ensure that the designated teacher undertakes training that is appropriate to carrying out this duty.

The Designated Teacher at Ryhope Infant School Academy is the Headteacher – Mrs Allen.

Virtual School

Since 2014 all local authorities are required to appoint an officer to discharge the duty placed on every local authority under the Children Act 1989 to promote the educational achievement of the children it looks after as if they were in a single school. The Virtual School Head (VSH) role is about raising attainment and ensuring progression of all looked-after children from that authority. They work strategically across the authority and with schools 49 to monitor and support the educational achievement of looked-after children as if they were in a single school.

Sunderland Virtual School for Looked After Children

Sunderland Virtual School provides personalised learning support to ensure that Looked After Children and young people receive the best education and learning experiences and opportunities to maximise their education outcomes. This enables them to achieve beyond expectations, build upon their successes and improve progression and future economic well-being.

They negotiate with schools to offer:

  • Vocational learning
  • 1 – 1 tuition
  • Negotiation of curriculum
  • Personalised timetables
  • Re-engagement plans
  • Advice to schools

Criteria for access

The child must be a pupil in care of the Local Authority.

Universal Services

It is a Local Authority service for schools

Targeted Services

The service is targeted at those pupils who are Looked After by the Local Authority.

Specialist Services

All tutors and Inclusion Officers are fully qualified and experienced

Who to contact


Main Contact: 0191 561 5776
Alternative Contact: 0191 561 5696

Where to go


Tudor Grove Centre


Portland Road



01 Jun

INSET DAY- School closed to pupils

Please see our "Staying Safe During Covid-19" Page for the most up to date information.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

You probably watched the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, just as we did. He stated that schools may return after half term and towards the beginning of June, for certain year groups. Further guidance from the Department for Education regarding the possibility of the wider opening of the school from 1st June states:

Actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/actions-for-education-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020 that under the heading Class sizes and staff availability ‘settings should prioritise groups of children as follows:
• early years settings– 3 and 4 year olds followed by younger age groups
• infant schools - nursery (where applicable) and reception
• primary schools – nursery (where applicable), reception and year 1”

and as we are an Infant School we will be prioritising Nursery and Reception.

I know you will have lots of questions but at this stage we are still unable to answer most of them.  Further information regarding this will be shared with parents/carers as and when we have it.

We are still open for children of Critical or Key Workers.  To book a place, please contact [email protected] 

We will be opening our school to these workers only when parents are scheduled to work.  The school will be open from 8:50am to 3:15pm.  There will be no breakfast or afterschool care available. 

If you are a “Critical or Key Worker” and are not scheduled to work, your child MUST stay at home.  If you have a partner at home who is NOT a “Critical or Key Worker”, your child should also remain at home.  This is to protect all of our children, staff and their families.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Free School Meal Vouchers

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From Monday 6th April 2020, all children eligible for benefits-related free school meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home.

Schools will provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth up to £15 to spend at supermarkets while we are closed due to coronavirus.

The vouchers can be spent on food at a range of shops including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S, with the Department for Education working to get more shops to join the scheme as soon as possible.

These vouchers will only be available during the normal term time with exception to the Easter break which the Government have agreed to provide support for. 

Please see our Staying Safe During Covid-19 Page for further information on how to receive the shopping vouchers.