Children in Care

Department for Education written question – answered am ar 14 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Laming Lord Laming Chair, Accommodation Steering Group Committee

To ask His Majesty's Government what action they are taking to reduce the number of children in care experiencing multiple placements.

Photo of Lord Laming Lord Laming Chair, Accommodation Steering Group Committee

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce the number of times children in care must change school.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, Lords Spokesperson (Equalities)

The needs of the child are paramount when deciding the right care placement. The Children’s Act 1989 places a duty on local authorities to make sure that there is sufficient provision in their area to meet the needs of children in their care and ensure placements safeguard and promote the child’s welfare. Further, the guidance is clear that the child’s allocated social worker, supported by local authority management and resources, should do everything possible to minimise disruption to the child’s education and, where a child is in key stage 4, a move should only be made in exceptional circumstances. Responsibility for looked-after children sits with the local authority. The guidance and regulations of the Children Act 1989 can be found attached.

Every local authority must appoint a Virtual School Head (VSH), who has a statutory duty to promote the educational attainment of all children in their care. All maintained schools and academies must appoint a designated teacher to act as a source of advice and expertise about the needs of the looked-after children on the school’s roll. Looked-after children also have top priority in school admissions and attract Pupil Premium Plus funding of £2,570 per child, up to age 16. This is managed by the VSH, who works with the child’s education setting to deliver objectives in the child’s personal education plan.

Whilst the number of placements experienced by looked after children in a one year period has remained broadly stable over the past 5 years, the government recognises there are issues with finding stable placements. That is why the government has announced over £400 million in capital funding to help local authorities create more beds in their local areas which will aim to further reduce the number of children experiencing multiple placements.

HL4152 HL4153 Attachment (pdf, 1746.0KB)

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