Exam target slips for looked-after children

The National Children’s Bureau has backed a Local Government
Association call for schools to be given a statutory duty to
promote the educational attainment of looked-after children and
young people.

The call follows the publication last week of the Office of
National Statistics figures which shows that 43 per cent of
children in care did not sit exams – up 1 per cent from last

The Department for Education and Skills wants the proportion of
those not sitting exams reduced to 10 per cent by 2006, a target it
could miss unless progress is accelerated.

For looked after children who do sit exams, only one in 10 achieve
five GCSE passes or equivalent at grade A-C.

NCB chief executive Paul Ennals said: “Despite changes to
admissions policies, there is anecdotal evidence that suggests some
schools are resisting accepting looked-after children at short

Chair of the LGA’s social affairs and health executive Alison King
said the organisation welcomed the Children Bill’s creation of a
specific duty on local authorities to promote the educational
achievement of looked-after children but said the role of schools
needed to be specified too.

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