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Education: Children in Care

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what measures he has put in place to improve the educational achievements of children in institutional care. (149038)

Our recently published White Paper “Care Matters: Time for Change” sets out specific proposals to improve the education of all children in care. Most children in care live with foster carers—only 13 per cent. live in children’s homes. Our proposals include: a £500 educational allowance for children in care at risk of falling behind at school; putting the ‘designated teacher’ on a statutory footing to improve the expertise in schools; appointing ‘virtual school heads’ to oversee their education; improving attendance and reducing exclusions; reducing mobility of school placements, particularly in the crucial years before GCSEs; and a bursary of a minimum of £2,000 for all children in care who go on to university. These proposals build on the measures already in place: a specific duty on local authorities to promote the educational achievement of children in care and a requirement to give them the highest priority in school admission arrangements.