Some common questions and answers from Sefton’s Virtual School

‘It’s not always clear who to speak to.’ 

Sefton have updated the website with roles and responsibilities. Meet our Team | Sefton Council   There is an email link to connect with every member of the Virtual School.

If you do not know which Education Coordinator is assigned to your school, please contact

‘The PEPs can be challenging to fill in.’ 

There was Designated Teacher training on 26th June at the PDC, which received extremely positive feedback. Attendees commented that they now have a greater understanding of the requirements of completing the PEP, including setting quality targets. Further training will be offered next academic year. A reminder that each school has an Education Coordinator that they can speak at any point if they are unsure. Welfare Call also have a helpline if any users forget passwords or struggle to get into the system. Their response time is usually very quick. Designated Teachers also have the option to delegate users within school so that other colleagues working with the children can enter into the PEP document, if appropriate. Lianne Bate Deputy Headteacher Virtual School is always happy to discuss any feedback about the process directly with any school if required.

‘EH, CIN and CP plans are not always being shared with schools.  Follow up information is not always provided.’ 

this has been fed back.  The current process is that all referrals into MASH are screened and then an outcome letter is sent to the referrer at the end of that process informing them of the outcome.  If the outcome is a C&F assessment is required, the social worker should then be in touch with all agencies within 3 working days.   Alex Jones, Service Manager Emergency Duty Team, Integrated Front Door and Assessment Service, is happy if DSL/Heads want to contact her about any concerns. 

If the outcome is Early Help it will be awaiting allocation at one the family-well-being centres.  The Practice Standards have been revised in the last week, following your feedback, with more clarification about timescales and expectations for Early Help.  Workshops for EH teams are emphasising the expectation that information is shared within 5 days after meetings.  Myself, Jacquie Finlay, Service Manager Early Help, and Nicola Read, Workforce Learning and Development Officer, are working on developing further multiagency training and approaches to ensure that the Early Help system is more succinct for all stakeholders.

I have also had a meeting with Rebecca Marshall, IRO/Chair for Child Protection Independent Safeguarding and Quality Assurance Unit, and Paula Latham, CIN Independent Reviewing Officer, who have launched a new process for all new initial CIN meetings.  Please be reassured that there is a lot of work going on within Children’s Services to enhance the offer and ensure that all stakeholders are working together efficiently.  We are planning some more work together to enhance practice in the future and would really value school’s perspectives on this.

‘How do we log private fostering arrangements.’  

This is the link Sefton Safeguarding Children Partnership – (

‘When a child leaves care mid term, they are still entitled to funding, but sometimes they haven’t had a PEP for that term, so I can’t apply for funding.’ 

VS advise that it is good practice to ensure that a PEP is completed before a child leaves care, as this will support their transition. However, even if a PEP meeting has not been held, the school section should be completed on Welfare Call and the funding will be allocated, even if the meeting does not take place. 

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