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Having taught children of all abilities in multi-ethnic inner London comprehensive schools for over 30 years, where she gained experience in senior leadership and as staff governor, between 2007 and 2016, Bernadette Alexander served as Virtual School Head in 3 London Authorities. Liaising closely with social services, foster and residential home carers, psychologists and schools, she has advocated for the educational rights and for the inclusion of Children Looked After and Care Leavers.
Working both with the Team Around the Child and 1:1 with many Children Looked After and Care Leavers, including Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children, has deepened her understanding of the barriers to achievement of this cohort and forced her to question why, despite the statutory guidance and the funding made available to narrow the gap in attainment, it still remains unacceptably wide.
Bernadette has extensive experience in conference speaking as well as in training, both in her role as Virtual School Head and also as a lead trainer for London Fostering Achievement, in which role she co-wrote the training for carers and other professionals across the 32 London authorities as well as co-delivering it. She is co-author of The Fostering Network’s A Guide to the Education of Looked After Children in their “All you need to know” series.
Bernadette currently works as Enrichment Co-ordinator to 4 virtual schools on behalf of John Lyon’s Charity.