The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), the Virtual School Heads Network (VSHN) and the National Consortium for Examination Results (NCER) has published a paper looking at how the educational progress of children in care can be measured more accurately.
The paper builds on the results of a comprehensive study published by the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education at the University of Oxford and the University of Bristol, which found that, in general, the longer a child is in care the better their educational outcomes and that the relationship between being in care and low educational outcomes is explained, in part, by children and young people’s pre-care experiences including poverty, maltreatment and neglect rather than the care system itself.
The paper by ADCS, VSHN and NCER aims to stimulate a national debate around improving support and raising ambitions for this vulnerable cohort of children and young people. It makes a compelling argument for change by setting out a range of challenges and recommendations for local authorities, individual schools, multi-academy trusts, the DfE and Ofsted and by identifying deficiencies in the current approach in order to improve education provision and individual outcomes for children in care, to enable all parts of the care system to be held to account and to improve the dissemination of good practice.
In addition, it proposes the development of a new evidence-driven data management and analysis system which will help local authorities to take improvement action and help them, as corporate parents, to make more informed choices about schooling for individual children in care.
The Rees Centre report can be found here.
The ADCS, VSHN and NCER paper is available on the website here.
The ADCS press release can be found here: