Councils fail to set care targets

28th May 1999 at 01:00
EDUCATION authorities are failing to set targets for reducing exclusions and improving the academic performance of children in care - despite government goals.

A fifth of 61 behaviour support plans surveyed by education and training charity Rathbone CI did not mention looked-after children or set targets for them.

Ministers want 50 per cent of looked-after children to achieve a qualification - at least one graded GCSE - by 2001, and 75 per cent by 2003. Last year, 93.4 per cent of all England's 16-year-olds achieved this standard.

A TES survey earlier this year found at least 47 councils had set targets for improving looked-after children's performance without knowing how well they currently do.

The Government has also called on education authorities to reduce exclusions among looked-after children - up to 80 times more likely to be expelled from school than classmates who live at home. However, no specific exclusion targets have been set.

Carol Toms, Rathbone CI's policy officer, said: "The targets the Government has set are very minimal, and local authorities are copying what it says.

"We think behaviour support plans should state the numbers of looked-after children, their exclusion rate, and the number with statements of special educational need.

"All schools should have a link teacher, and a tutor should be available to support children in residential care who are without a school place, for whatever reason."

Authorities praised by the Manchester-based charity include Derby, which states that all its schools have a teacher responsible for looked-after children, and Redcar and Cleveland, which has an education link person in each children's home.

Rathbone CI has a free helpline for advice and information on exclusions and behaviour issues, telephone 0800 9176790.

8 News TESJmay 28 1999 barry greenwood On-side: Manchester City captain Andy Morrison, who has had discipline problems on and off the field, with pupil Johnny Ramsden, 11

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now