The big question

Many teenagers are celebrating their GCSE results, but should children in care have more to celebrate?

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
I am shocked that children in care gain so few GCSEs. I fondly imagined that the care home environment would make for structured “home” study – so much for my complacent ignorance! Early life care should create the foundation for a lifetime, but it will be of little value unless education is addressed at the same time.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
The Every Child Matters initiative has good ideals, but not all parties have bought into them. Even when they have, poor management, a lack of resources and shortage of trained staff mean these ideals are not put into practice. The end result is that many children in care obtain no GCSEs with all the social and economic costs that follow.

Kierra Box – Young people’s activist
Children in care have a lot to celebrate. Overcoming adversity, navigating the care system and surviving on their own are huge achievements. With all the extra pressure of an unstable home life, these children need earlier support, tuition and counselling to help overcome barriers to achievement. It is the system which disadvantages them.

Kerry Evans – Parent of two autistic children
Some children in care achieve good exam results despite the odds and have supportive care workers during exam years. But if children are moved from home to home during teenage years, poor achievement is the result. Agencies working to involve parents in their child’s education would lead to better results.

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