Aberdeenshire’s very first “virtual head teacher” has been appointed.
Emma Allen, the former acting head teacher of Laurencekirk School, will “join the dots” to improve care for looked after children.
The role was created to further develop Aberdeenshire Council’s corporate parenting plan and improve outcomes for children in care across the region.
Mrs Allen said: “While I might not have physical buildings or fire drills to contend with, I do still have around 400 children spread across Aberdeenshire.
“My focus is on raising attainment and achievement for our care experienced young people.
Let’s share some ideas. If you can think of one thing that helps engage a young person who is in crisis – what is it? What do you do that makes a difference? I’ll start.
•2 key adults in school who build and maintain a strong and meaningful relationship in their life. pic.twitter.com/krbNSVfn4E
— Aberdeenshire Virtual School HT- Emma Allen. (@EmmaAll25676483) October 3, 2019
“A strong focus will be developing improvements across services and between agencies to ensure we are all working together in the best possible ways to enhance what we can do for them.
“There is a lot of expertise out there and I can help to join the dots.
“I fully believe in building relationships, strengthening communication and developing collaboration to ensure there is equity in opportunities for our care experienced young people.”
Originally from Kent, Mrs Allen has lived and worked in Scotland since 2004.
After working as a supply teacher in Angus she began working in Aberdeenshire in various roles such as a class teacher, support for learning, depute and acting head teacher.
Mrs Allen, who is sharing her experience on Twitter, added: “I am currently working to create a robust tracking system so we can monitor how our young people are getting on at school.
“I will also be looking at transitions for our young people – within their school, from school to school and beyond, working with external partners to help ensure they find a positive destination in further education, training or employment.
“For now, it’s a lot of fact finding and it’s also vitally important for me to get out there and meet people – to be more visible than virtual.”
On the road today in this beautiful place called Aberdeenshire visiting colleagues and children in their schools. Will be back to support with sensory ideas for outdoor learning. pic.twitter.com/er552RpSZt
— Aberdeenshire Virtual School HT- Emma Allen. (@EmmaAll25676483) September 11, 2019
Laurence Findlay, director of education and children’s services for the council, said: “Having 400 young people to look out for is no mean feat.
“But this new role is designed to guide all services in knowing what works well and why, how we can work better together and ensure funding for these young people is used in the best possible ways.”
You can follow Mrs Allen’s work as virtual head teacher at @EmmaAll25676483 on Twitter.