People count, not the cash

29th October 2004 at 01:00
If any group exemplified the pros and cons of the Executive's educational strategy, it is that most vulnerable group of youngsters who are looked after in local authority care (page four). Nobody could argue with the aspiration to "close the gap" between the haves and the have-nots. So there can be little argument with the policy.

This week's announcement of a further pound;6 million for this group, bringing the total spent on them since 2001 to pound;16 million, will no doubt be welcomed. But will it achieve the desired outcomes? The research carried out by Who Cares? Scotland has concluded that, despite all the investment, the young people involved have felt little benefit.

It is right, of course, to point to the alarming gap in attainment between those in care and their peers. But education is only part of the picture: school achievement which can give young people a rare sense of fulfilment is one thing, but there may be many greater imperatives in their lives - the consistency and quality of the care they receive "in loco parentis" being the crucial one.

The importance of teachers and other staff in improving their educational experience was the key factor identified by the young people themselves in the Who Cares? study. That matters as much as the cash.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today