The educational achievement of children in care is to be
assessed by the social exclusion unit.
Building on the existing policies introduced through the Quality
Protects programme, the SEU’s project will look at personal
education plans for all children in care, information sharing
between schools and social services and designated teachers to be
an advocate for children in care attending school.
As well as the formal consultation, which will take in social
services, education authorities, young people in care and
children’s charities, the SEU project team is carrying out
six studies of particular local authority areas alongside visits to
projects to identify best practice.
More than two thirds of children in care leave care at 16 with
no qualifications at all, compared to only six per cent of all
Care leavers are significantly more likely to be socially
excluded later in life. A quarter of all prisoners, and up to a
third of rough sleepers, have been in care.
Health minister Jacqui Smith said: “We know that doing badly at
school has a major impact on these children’s chances later
in life, and we must do more to see that they get the same
educational opportunities that we would expect for our own
The SEU will choose the six local authority areas to be
subjected to in depth studies shortly. The final report will be
published in 2002.
The consultation document can be found at www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/seu
or contact Jamil Mohammed on 020 7276 2118.