All looked after children will be set an individual education
target by local authorities, under a new government approach to
improve their achievement at school, writes Amy
Launched alongside the children’s green paper, a Social
Exclusion Unit report – ‘A Better Education for Children in
Care’ – aims to tackle the problems that lead to around half of
looked after children leaving school with no qualifications.
It calls for looked after children’s personal education
plans to be enhanced so that they receive the support at school,
and stability at home they need to reach their potential.
It promises further action to limit the circumstances in which
care placements that require a change of school will be allowed.
The report goes on to say that children needing complex services
who cannot be placed within the local authority must be found a
specialist placement within the same region except in special
The government adds that it is going to amend the national
minimum standards to ensure children’s homes have effective
strategies in place for combating poor school attendance. In the
longer term it plans to set a target for the minimum proportion of
foster carers to be trained in a relevant qualification.
The new proposals will be taken forward by children’s minister
Margaret Hodge, who said the green paper also included proposals to
consult on “a new commitment for all local authorities to
prioritise the education of children in care”.