‘Force academies to take children in care’

Children’s services chiefs urged a government official to force independent academy schools to admit looked-after children, at a session on the role of councils in education.

They called on Lesley Longstone, director of the school foundation and investment group at the Department for Education and
Skills, to amend the Education and Inspections Bill to force academies to take children in care even when they are full.

Under the bill, other state schools would be bound to take looked-after children in such circumstances. Longstone said that the government could not legally dictate academies’ admissions, although councils could challenge their decisions.

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