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Looked-after pupils' education reviewed;TESBarnardo's Seminar;Autumn conferences

THE TES is teaming up with Barnardo's, the children's charity, to campaign for the education of looked-after children. Ministers at next week's Labour party conference in Bournemouth will receive a dossier on the state of their schooling at a TESBarnado's seminar.

A TES survey earlier this year, found that more than half of children looked after by local authorities leave school without a single GCSE - compared to just one child in 15 in England as a whole.

Two in five local authorities had no idea what results the children in their care get at GCSE and more than two-thirds have no information about the achievement of 11-year-olds.

The Government has told councils that it wants to see at least half of looked-after children gaining at least one GCSE by 2001.

But Barnardo's believes this target is too low. Roger Singleton, the charity's chief executive, said: "We would like to see the Government setting targets for the educational attainment of looked-after children which were at least the same as the current achievements of comparable groups of young people."

Official figures show that young people who fail to get any qualifications are three times as likely to become unemployed as those with A-levels. Even those who get low grade GCSEs are twice as likely to find themselves on the dole.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday at the Stakis Hotel at 6.30pm.

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