Natasha Finlayson, Chief Executive of Become, said in response to the publication of the Children’s Commissioner Stability Index: “Stability – both in terms of where you live and emotional – is vital for children to develop a healthy sense of belonging and feeling wanted and valued, which in turn helps them to thrive and heal from the trauma that led to them being taken into care. The evidence that the care system is letting children down by failing to provide this stability for so many of them has been available for years, but as the Children’s Commissioner’s latest report shows, there is far too much complacency. The Commissioner says she wants local authorities to hold themselves to account for this, but I want to see the Department for Education and Ofsted holding them to account too. In a context of draconian cuts in public spending, many local authorities will not make the necessary changes unless they are under a legal or regulatory obligation to do so.
“The report also highlights the number of children in care who are being forced to move schools as a result of where the local authority places them. Obviously this massively disrupts a child’s education and makes it harder for them to receive the academic and social benefits that a consistent school place brings. In theory children in care receive a priority place at local authority schools, but there is no such requirement of academy schools – which means that in many areas children in care are refused entry into the schools that could most benefit them. Tackling these sorts of inequalities is vital if we are to narrow the gap in educational – and therefore employability - outcomes between children in care and their peers.”
You can download the Children’s Commissioner Stability Index – embargoed until 00.01am Friday 1 June – here.