Response to release of educational outcomes for children looked after

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Jackie Sanders, director of public affairs at The Fostering Network, said: “The Fostering Network welcomes the continued improvement in academic achievement by looked after children, as indicated in the Department for Education report: Outcomes for Children Looked After by Local Authorities in England, 31 March 2015.

“While we cannot expect dramatic and immediate change in educational outcomes for young people in care, it is positive to see a consistent improvement over time. There is clearly still a long way to go, but we know that being in foster care can improve educational outcomes; University of Oxford research (2015) showed that educational outcomes are higher for fostered children compared with those living on the edge of care.

“Children are not percentage points, and we should take time applaud the individual children who have made good progress educationally, and to ensure that we continue to examine why others are not achieving and to put in place individual care plans for them that can support their educational development.

“We are aspirational for all children, and we want to celebrate the successes, educational or otherwise, of children who grow up living in foster care. We need all those who are elected to work in Government to view foster care as a situation where children can flourish, equal to all others – and for them to vocally and repeatedly express that. Only with positive reinforcement can we convince the thousands of children that they are valued in our society, that their education means something and their educational achievements matter, that they can make positive contributions, and that our tomorrow will be brighter thanks to them.

“The Fostering Network will continue to develop our projects and programmes, such as London Fostering Achievement and Inspiring Voices which aim to improve the educational aspirations, ensure fostered children have the same educational opportunities as their peers, and celebrate the achievements of children living with foster families.”

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