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How pound;8,000 fanned the spark of genius

East Renfrewshire spent pound;8,000 of its pound;70,500 allocation on its "spark of genius" project to provide places for looked-after children at risk of exclusion from mainstream schools, using intensive computer-based individual learning programmes. These are said to have increased attendance and raised attainment.

Other projects included expanding an education and training programme for young care-leavers in Glasgow to overcome barriers to employment, and a joint training scheme in Aberdeen for school and social work staff and carers to improve understanding of their roles.

Midlothian gave every looked-after child a school bag, pens and other necessities to ensure that every child went to school properly equipped.

Renfrewshire gave 14 foster carers computer packages including printers and scanners.

Ms Jamieson said that raising the attainment levels of looked-after children is the best way to close the opportunity gap and ensure that young people leave care with the skills and knowledge they need for the adult world.

"Looked-after children are among the most vulnerable in society and it is our shared responsibility to ensure that they enjoy the same educational opportunities as other young people," she said.

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