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***We hope you’ve had a great half-term! The Spring PEP deadline for this term is Friday 10th March 2023, please contact us if you require any support***

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Our Mission:

The Tameside Virtual School and College exists to ensure that all cared for young people in Tameside, from nursery to university, receive the best educational opportunities possible and are able to realise and reach their potential. We work with around 200 schools and colleges, SEND support services and Social Care both in and out of Tameside to provide guidance and support around all educational issues. We monitor attendance and attainment across all schools and offer advice and support to resolve problems if they arise. We are also a helpful source of advice support for professionals and families involved with any children who have been previously cared for; have a social worker or who are involved with the youth justice service. We may not have a building, but we exist to support you, your families and carers throughout your educational journey.

Please explore our page for helpful resources and information or follow the link below to contact a member of our team.

Meet the Team

Amanda Aylward - Virtual School & College Headteacher

I have been lucky enough to have been Virtual School Headteacher for the last 5 years. Prior to that I worked as an Assistant Headteacher and SENCO in a Tameside Secondary School after starting my teaching career in a secondary 11-18 school in Oldham where I was a teacher and Head of Year. Before I started teaching I worked as a professional freelance musician.

Kath Hankinson
Kath Hankinson - Manager, Virtual School and College
I joined Tameside Virtual School and College as an Education Welfare Officer in April 2020 – a month after we went into lockdown! Since joining the team, I’ve been lucky to meet and work with some amazing people in supporting our children and young people in Tameside.  Prior to joining the Virtual School, I worked as an Attendance Officer in a Tameside Primary School and before that, worked as a Placement Manager for Cared for Children for Oldham Council.  In April 2022 I was appointed as one of the Managers within the Virtual School.  Outside of work I enjoy walking and travelling with my husband and two daughters. I come from a large family and I’m the second youngest of 7 children, so there’s always a family get-together and birthday cake to enjoy

Rachael Weeden - Manager, Virtual School and College
I joined the Virtual School and College in August 2021, initially as an education welfare officer. In April 2022 I was appointed as one of the managers of the team.  My role is to support our team and work with schools, social workers and carers to promote attendance and outcomes for all our cared for young people. I have a particular interest in working with and supporting young people with SEND and prior to working for the Virtual School and College I worked as a secondary school History teacher and assistant SENCO at a Tameside school. Outside of work, I love to bake and go on adventures with my two children.

Rosie Spiers - Education Welfare Officer
I have worked in Tameside for a number of years and joined the Virtual School 3 years ago. I love working here and meeting the young people who we support in Education.
I have 3 grown-up children and 4 little grandchildren who keep me busy.

Sue Toke
Sue TokeEducation Welfare Officer
I joined the Virtual School and College in September 2022 having been the Attendance and Safeguarding Lead at a secondary Manchester academy. Prior to working in a school I managed a number of Education Welfare teams, specialising in supporting children and young people to attend school, offering support to families and delivering training around attendance and safeguarding. Outside of work I love travelling and everything outdoors. I’m a scuba diver and enjoy time with my family and our two little dogs.

Jack AndrewsJack Andrews – Education Welfare Officer
I have recently joined the team at Tameside Virtual School and College and I am looking forward to supporting our cared for and care experienced young people to achieve their education aspirations. Over the last 12 years, I have worked in a variety of service areas, these include, special education, leaving care, residential children’s homes and my most recent employment as an edge of care support worker. When I am not working, I enjoy all things health and fitness related. I love being outdoors and booking spontaneous trips to discover new places.  My perfect day out would be to climb a mountain and then celebrating with some nice food.

Molly MarsdenMolly Marsden – Education Welfare Officer
I have recently joined the team at Tameside Virtual School and College, starting in August 2022. I am really looking forward to working with the team to support all our cared for children and young people throughout education, promoting attendance and outcomes. Before joining the Virtual School and College, I worked as a secondary school English teacher in West Yorkshire. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my rescue puppy, Bax - he loves exploring! I am also a book-worm… in my spare time, I love to indulge in a book.

Helen Oconner
Helen O’Connor
- Finance & Information Officer
I joined the Virtual School and College team in April 2020 and am enjoying my role with them. Every day is interesting and varied. I have worked in many different departments of the Council and so have lots of experience. I have a lovely dachshund called George. He likes to go for walks as long as it is not raining and his favourite thing to do is to lay on the sofa in the sun.

Sarah Frater
Sarah Frater – Education Welfare OfficerAfter
30 years in primary education in Salford and Cheshire East, I am relishing the new challenge of working in the Tameside Virtual School team. I have a passion for supporting pupils to achieve their potential, and my experience as a primary school teacher and school principal will allow me to continue this work, for the cared for children and young people of Tameside.To relax, I enjoy getting out in the fresh air for walks in my free time, and I love the theatre and dancing – including watching performances and treading the boards myself! Travel is another passion of mine and I dream of a camper van to take me around the world one day.
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