According to the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) which has collected data from 124 local authorities, nearly 1000 children in care have attended three or more schools within a single academic year.
For those in their GCSE year, the data shows that more than 10% of students in the worst five local authority areas would move once or more a term.
As laid out in its January report, Finding Their Feet, the CSJ recommends the wider adoption of ‘scorecards’ to clearly set out outcomes for children in care in each local authority. The indicators laid out in the report include prevalence of early and repeat parenthood; the number able to ‘stay put’ with foster carers after their 18th birthdays, the number going on to apprenticeships and higher education, the number of schools children have been to (particularly in crucial exam years), the number of foster carers they have had, and the number of social workers.
By reporting outcomes in a clear, transparent way, the CSJ argues that councillors in these local authorities can build up an accurate picture about whether care leaders are meeting the needs of these vulnerable, young people.
A disrupted education adds to the series of challenges faced by children in care. Despite representing less than one per cent of young people, care leavers make up one quarter (24 per cent) of the adult prison population, 11 per cent of young homeless people and 70 per cent of sex workers. Those leaving the care system are now twice as likely not to be in education, employment or training (NEET) at the age of 19 than the rest of the population, while more than half of care leavers struggle to secure somewhere safe to live when they leave care.
To see the figures, please visit the Centre for Social Justice press release link.
To read the rest of the article, please visit the Family Law Week’s website.