The Big Question

Should schools be given a duty to promote the educational achievement of looked-after children?

Richard West – Inspired Services
Looked-after children have other issues to think about. They don’t need more pressure. This might happen if schools are judged on how looked-after children do in exams. A lot of children who are in care are picked on. I feel emotional support is missing for looked-after children. School is not just about exams – it’s about life.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
Schools should be responsible for the total educational welfare of every child. Secondary schools invest considerably in support staff for pupils with greater educational needs. This is more difficult to achieve in primary schools as they have lower staffing budgets pro rata. School staff should not become even more burdened than they already are.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
Every child deserves the best chance at an education, and should receive whatever it takes to redress the imbalance caused by their individual circumstances. If this takes the form of extra attention to how these children are being educated, and how looked-after they are within the school system, then that is absolutely fine with me.

Shaun Webster – Change self advocacy group
Schools are being hypocrites – they’re always telling children to try harder but a lot of them ought to try harder themselves. It makes me angry that these children aren’t getting enough support. If you get good exam results, you can get a good job, but if you end up with low marks, what are you going to do with your life?

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