Councillor questions provision for looked after children

At the latest Corporate Parenting Panel, councillors were presented with worrying new data on the educational achievement of looked after children.

In 2011 no looked after children who received alternative educational provision achieved 5 A*- C grades at GCSE, in total only 14% of looked after children as a whole in the borough achieved 5 A*- C GCSE grades.

The data which became less surprising when data showed that half of the children were not entered for any qualifications.  Reasons given by the council for such performance included:

 

  • changes of care placement
  • changes of educational placement, 
  • "frequent absconding and engaging in crime"

Cllr Adam Thomas who sits on the panel said "While many of these children have very challenging circumstances, it must be incumbent upon the borough to do its utmost to give these children the best start in life.  

The fact that so many looked after children are not even entered for qualifications coupled with the disruption that some children face to care and educational placements, which to some degree the borough controls, means that the borough has to get a grip of this issue.

I have specifically asked officers to look at the alternative provision that the borough provides as well as its use of external providers as this service, which is required for the children with the most challenges, is clearly not fit for purpose."