Commitment to Children in Care's Education

The Minister was commenting on Children Looked After Statistics 2006-07 published today which show:

  • In 2007 14,060 children were looked after by local authorities, an increase of eight per cent since 2006
  • 52 per cent of care leavers had at least one pass at Standard Grade foundation level or better, an increase of one percent since 2005-06. The number with both English and maths at this level remained unchanged at 34 per cent

Mr Ingram said:

"There's nothing inevitable about young people who are looked after coming behind their peers in terms of qualifications and the statistics out today are disappointing.

"People and their potential lie at the heart of our vision for Scotland and children in care deserve every opportunity to play a full role. That's why we recently announced £2.5 million to help councils support children in their care.

"The number of vulnerable young people under the care of local authorities is increasing, showing we are identifying those in need and getting them support and security. But I want to see an improvement in attainment and opportunities because the status quo is simply not good enough.

"We've made our commitment clear by driving forward with the We Can and Must Do Better strategy and must work together with councils to improve the outlook for these young people."

The Scottish Government has also supported 20 local authorities in piloting new approaches to improving educational attainment for their looked after children. These pilots are due to end in March 2008 and will be evaluated to inform service delivery and policy development.

Last month the Scottish Government announced £2.5 million to help all councils enhance their role as Corporate Parents to children in care.

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