Improved support for pupils in care

27th October 2006 at 01:00
We at School-Home Support UK largely welcome the Government's green paper, Care Matters (TES, October 13). The proposals are a good start, but there are noticeable failings in the support planned for children in care at school.

While the need to enhance the relationship between schools, residential homes and foster carers and social workers is highlighted, the proposals do not offer any solutions. For teachers to respond appropriately to pupils'

needs, key teaching and support staff need to know if a child is in care.

To help overcome some of these issues, our charity is piloting concentrated support for these children and their carers, linked directly to schools.

These pilots, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, are now operating in East Riding of Yorkshire, city of York and the London borough of Southwark.

Over the next three years around 240 children and young people will benefit from these projects. There will be a focus on transition as the move from primary to secondary school is often when children in care are less likely to get good support.

It is great that the Government has kick-started the debate on improving the lives of these vulnerable children and shameful that it has taken the state so long to recognise how desperately it has been failing them.

Jan Tallis. Chief executive, School-Home Support, London

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