Children In Care Should Only Attend ‘Good’ Or ‘Outstanding’ Schools
Among all the regular Ofsted talk, some rather alarming stats and warnings have recently come to light. The warnings focus on children in care in the UK, and the schools they are attending.
Anne Longfield, children’s commissioner for England has told authorities that children in care should only attend ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ schools. The warning comes as part of her latest Stability Index report. She will be writing to councils where “significantly lower proportion of children in care are in these schools”. Longfield will be looking for an explanation and a commitment from local authorities to secure better places for looked-after children. The latest report shows that these children will be more likely to experience school instability if their school has a lower Ofsted rating.
Children In Care Statistics & Guidelines
20 per cent of children in schools rated as ‘inadequate’ moved schools mid-year in 2017-18. This compares to just one in 12 children in schools rated ‘outstanding’. The report says:
The relationship between school instability and school quality is stronger than that which we found last year: rates of school instability have increased slightly among children in schools judged ‘inadequate’, but have decreased slightly among children in schools judged ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
When seeking a place for looked-after children, priority should be to ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ schools, according to current DfE guidelines. It points out that a looked-after child shouldn’t be placed in an ‘inadequate’ school, unless there are “exceptional evidence-based reasons”. When it comes to schools that require improvement, the school should prove that they are providing high quality support to vulnerable pupils, according to the guidelines.
The Stability Index report is a vital tool when it comes to monitoring performance of schools in regards to looked-after children. Thousands of looked-after children were being moved to schools over 20 miles away mid-year, according to last year’s report.
To fully hammer home the point of all of this, it was revealed earlier this year that GSCE grades for looked-after students had fallen while absences had increased.
Do you agree with these findings? Has your school had any vulnerable children join mid-year? As always, we’d love to hear your comments on this so be sure to get in touch!