Gaps in support for children in care

Looked-after children are poorly supported and achieve low outcomes in about half of local authority education services, according to Ofsted.

There is a “worrying” gap between councils who support looked-after children well in their education and those who do not, its report on the annual performance assessment of children’s services says.

And, for the fifth year, one in eight looked-after children were absent from school for at least 25 days.

And only half of children looked after continuously for at least four years have stayed with the same fosterfoster carer for at least two years.

Andrea Warman, a fostering development consultant at Baaf Adoption and Fostering, said placement stability was essential because movement between schools could have a negative effect on the education of looked-after children.

Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said councils should provide one-to-one tuition to looked-after children who were behind in their education to improve their attainment.

The forthcoming green paper on looked-after children is likely to focus on their education.

● Annual performance assessment from


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