Books not enough, says Scots inspector

Scotland’s senior chief inspector of education
has sent out a warning to local authorities that buying books and
resources for residential units and for foster carers will not, in
itself, stop looked-after children losing out on their

Douglas Osler told Community
: “Looked-after children have emotional, behavioural and
social problems. Education offers them their best chance of leaving
these problems behind them. In order to get a life they need to get
a living and to get a living they need to get an education. But
giving books to residential homes and foster carers will not ensure
they get that education.”

remarks came on the eve of a national conference on looked-after
children in Edinburgh last week. And they follow a £10m
handout from the executive that local authorities must spend on
educational resources for looked-after children by the end of the

cash was a response to a joint report by Scottish inspectors in
education and social work plus a subsequent survey initiated by
former education minister Jack McConnell. It found targets that all
looked-after children receive full-time education had not been

Glasgow and Edinburgh Councils
were not able to tell McConnell how many of their looked-after
children were in full-time education. Osler said that was a matter
for concern and added: “What the inspectors found too, was that, in
some secondary schools, staff were not even able to identify which
pupils were in care.”

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