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Half of children in care skip school

ALMOST HALF of children living in children's homes do not attend secondary school regularly, according to a new report.

The report, on the largest survey ever undertaken into the lives of children in care, reveals the first few months in care are likely to be the most disruptive to a child's education, with 22 per cent of recent care entrants saying they "never went" or had simply "left" school. Those in care for less than six months were also much more likely be excluded or say they disliked school.

The longer a child stayed in care, the more his or her stability increased along with school attendance.

Overall, children being fostered, rather than living in homes or secure units, fared better. Fifty-four per cent of children living with foster families said that being fostered had helped them to do better at school.

Finding a quiet space to study and do homework was one of the biggest problems for those living in children's homes and secure units. More disturbingly, three out of 10 in those environments claimed never to have been given any homework. In total 2,000 children were interviewed by the charity the Who Cares? Trust for the report.

'Remember My Messages' is available from the Who Cares? Trust on 0171 251 3117, priced Pounds 15.

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