New targets for children in care

All looked-after children will be set an individual education
target by local authorities, under a new government approach to
improve their achievement at school.

Launched alongside the children’s green paper, the Social Exclusion
Unit report – A Better Education for Children in Care
aims to tackle the problems that lead to around half of looked
after children leaving school with no qualifications.

It calls for looked-after children’s personal education plans
(PEPs) to be enhanced so that they get the support at school and
stability at home to reach their potential. The government will
change guidance to ensure the transition to the next stage of
education is covered in care plan and PEP reviews.

It promises further action to limit the circumstances in which care
placements that require a change of school will be allowed. The
report goes on to state that children needing complex services who
cannot be placed within the local authority must be found a
specialist placement within the same region except in special

The government intends to amend the national minimum standards to
ensure children’s homes have effective strategies in place for
combatting poor school attendance. In the longer term the
government plans to set a target for the minimum proportion of
foster carers to be trained in a relevant qualification.

The new proposals will be taken forward by children’s minister
Margaret Hodge who said that the green paper also included plans to
consult on “a new commitment for all local authorities to
prioritise the education of children in care”.

– A Better Education for Children in Care from

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