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Virtual School Contacts

Page last updated: 02/12/2020

​Essex Virtual School team


Natalie Stephenson – Headteacher of the Virtual School  

Service area: Head of Service
Natalie is the Virtual School Head Teacher for Essex. Natalie leads a team that is focused on improving educational outcomes for all children in care looked after by the Local Authority, making sure that their time in school is the very best it can be and that each learner is able to achieve their true potential.

Sharon Halsey – PEP and Virtual School Operational Lead

Tel: 033303 21200

Service area: Personal Education Plans/PP+ payments/Projects
As the PEP and Virtual School Operational Lead, Sharon’s work supports the Virtual Schools key priority, to ensure every child in care has a high quality Personal Education Plan. Sharon works with Designated Teachers to ensure that each learner’s PEP 1 reflects the quality of support and provision that is in place at school and that schools receive the Pupil Premium Plus Grant. Sharon’s work ensures that the plans in place for every child in care are sufficient to accelerate progress, and that the provision and resources recorded for all children, support them towards achieving their very best in school. Sharon also coordinates all PP+ payments, training opportunities and works closely with the Virtual School Headteacher coordinating CIC projects.

.The role of the Primary and Secondary Advisers


As Primary and Secondary Advisers we are an experienced team who have worked in Senior Leadership roles in both Primary and Secondary schools, Special Schools, Alternative Provision and Virtual schools for Children in Care.

We support Early Years, Primary, Secondary, Special schools and Colleges in accelerating academic progress and addressing student's barriers to learning.

Through visits to schools and providers, we look closely at engagement in learning, attendance, attainment and the wider experience, support and provision Children in Care and Previously Looked after Children are accessing.

We provide quality training and support for Governors, Designated Teachers in schools and colleges and Foster Carers.


Contact details-


Yvonne Daniel South and West Quadrant

Tel 3330322568


Jane Mills Mid and North East Quadrants

Tel 03330138036



Susan Kelly South Quadrant

Tel 03330134068

Mob 07880092754


Paul James Mid and North East Quadrants

Tel 03330133315

Mob 07980739886


Frances Howarth West and South Quadrants

Tel 03330321185


The role of the Inclusion team


The role of the Inclusion Team is to ensure children can access education through having a school place, improve attendance and reduce exclusion. Working closely with schools, both in Essex and out of county, the team ensures that children and young people are supported to be able to attend schools and colleges that best meet their needs. This role also includes monitoring the attendance of young people aged 16-18 to ensure that they are also supported to access education, employment or training. The Inclusion Officers for the team are:


Clare Davis – Lead Inclusion Officer  

033301 31092 / 07730 616624

Service area: Inclusion and Post 16


Hedda Wright- Inclusion officer 

033301 31091 / 07769 163569


David Mirzai- Inclusion officer

 033301 30927


Jerome Carr- Inclusion officer