Councils are setting educational targets for looked-after children
well below national guidelines, a government report has
The Department for Education and Skills guidance describes local
authorities’ response to the national targets at key stages
two, three and four as “disappointing”.
While the government expects 60 per cent of looked-after
11-year-olds to obtain level four in English and maths by 2006,
councils, on average, have set a target of just 50 per cent.
Similarly, the DfES expects only one in 10 looked-after children to
leave school without sitting a GCSE by 2006, while local
authorities have set a target of one in four.
Hugh Thornbery, NCH’s director of children’s services,
said there was often a lack of ambition on the part of local
authorities when it came to looked-after children because the gap
seemed so difficult to bridge.
But Hammersmith and Fulham children’s trust director Andrew
Christie said many looked-after children were subject to a
statement of special educational needs, had learning difficulties
or were not participating in education before they entered care.