Latest Public Sector News

27.07.15

Education for children in care ‘shockingly unstable’ – report

One thousand children in care attend three or more schools within a single academic year while 10% of students move at least once a term during their GCSE year, new figures have shown.

The report by think tank Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) revealed ‘shocking instability’ during the academic year 2013-14 for vulnerable minors across England.

In the worst local authorities, some students moved schools more than five times in one year.

Alex Bughart, policy director of the CSJ, said: “These figures are truly shocking and reveal an unacceptable level of disruption to the lives of vulnerable children in care.

“Children are taken into care in order to give them a second chance. Too often they have had a dysfunctional family life and so the care they receive should be the absolute best possible.

“Care leaders should want the same outcomes for children in care as they would want for their own children. No parent would like to see their children moving schools three or four times in a year. This will inevitably have a terrible impact on their education and their chances of finding work when they leave.”

The CSJ surveyed a total of 124 local authorities to collate data.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council showed the worst figures with a worrying 13% of students in care attending three or more schools in one year, while nearly 5% of children attended five or more schools.

Figures also showed that almost 32% of Year 11 students in care in the same local authority moved around three or more times. More than half of them were relocated at least twice.

However PSE understands that the council has questioned these figures and is still looking into local schools to determine whether they are correct.

The think tank has previously recommended the use of ‘scorecards’ to define outcomes for children in care and thus allow councillors in relevant local authorities to paint an accurate picture of whether care leaders are meeting the needs of vulnerable young people.

Today the Department for Education has launched a new 'NEET' scorecard that aims to show how well local councils are doing at getting and keeping young people in education.

Led by skills minister Nick Boles, the scorecards will rate councils’ performance in a number of areas, such as how well they are tackling children’s activity, to identify where they can improve and hold them accountable for mistakes. The scorecards will be published every summer and will cover the 16 to 19 age group.

Disrupted education is said to impact the challenges faces by children in the future. Care leavers make up 24% of the adult prison population, 11% of young homeless people and 70% of sex workers.

They are twice as likely not to be in education, employment or training by the age of 19 than the rest of the population and more than half of them struggle to secure residency. 

Some authorities also have overstretched care teams, with each personal adviser having to care for 49 young people on average – hindering their ability to build and maintain relationships with care leavers.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

02/09/2019Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

In February this year, official Northern Powerhouse Partner, Cognitive Publishing, delivered EvoNorth 2019.  The two day event was designed to amplify and highlight futur... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >