Funding for looked-after children’s education will more than double from April 2014, the government announced today.
Children in care were previously entitled to the same rate of funding as children from low income families, but will now attract a higher rate – the ‘Pupil Premium Plus’.
It will see funding increase from £40m in 2013-14 to £100m in 2014-15. This amounts to an extra £1,900 per pupil, more than double the £900 awarded in 2013-14.
As many as 10,000 extra children are expected to benefit from the funds, which will start from a child’s first day in care.
For the first time, children adopted from care and those who leave care under a special guardianship order or residence order will also attract the Pupil Premium Plus.
Announcing the change, children’s minister Edward Timpson said: “Children in care face unique challenges at school and often struggle to keep up with their peers at both primary and secondary level.
“It’s vital that these vulnerable children are given the targeted support they need and the education they deserve to help them get on in life.”
Figures from 2012 revealed just 15% of children in care achieved five A*- C grade GCSEs or equivalent, including English and maths, compared with 58% of their peers.
Natasha Finlayson, chief executive of The Who Cares? Trust, said: “This is fantastic news for children in care. It’s crucial they are given the individual support they need to succeed at school, and this additional funding will help schools to meet their needs.
“However, we would urge schools to consult with the individual children and their carers to make sure the money is spent in the best possible way for each child.”