Implications of the proposals outlined in Educational Excellence...

Debbie Barnes, Chair of the ADCS Educational Achievement Policy Committee, said:

“The White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere confirms that government will consider extending the role of Virtual School Head to include adopted children. The role of the Virtual School Head is to promote the educational achievement of all children in care in their local authority and there is growing evidence that this role is having a positive impact on the progress children in care make in their education by providing them with the extra help and support that they may need. Children living in adoptive families have similar levels of need as children and young people in other forms of care, although we are aware that nothing has yet been set in stone, we welcome an opportunity for Virtual School Heads to be able to offer guidance and advice on improving educational outcomes for adopted children.

“The White Paper also seeks to promote the deployment of well researched evidence-based approaches but the plan to enforce the academisation of all schools has little evidence in support of its efficacy. The system is anti-democratic, too costly and lacks local accountability. Without careful consideration and preparation we risk further complicating an already complex school system instead of focussing valuable resources where they can make the most difference, in the classroom. The local authority will continue to have a role in championing the needs of vulnerable children so it is essential that we continue to have a strong relationship with all schools and education providers.

“We also have grave concerns that some of the reforms outlined in the White Paper could impact on the wider safeguarding arrangements in place between local authorities and schools. Local authorities need to have an ability to support and challenge schools and academies to ensure that appropriate help and support is provided to all pupils in all schools, especially the most vulnerable children. Take the example of children missing from education, this can often be a sign of other vulnerabilities that if identified early enough could keep young people safe from more serious safeguarding issues later on. As champions for children and young people we recognise the crucial link between social care and education and we hope that government does too and we await further information from the government in order to understand the full implications of these reforms.”


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