Comment: Government consultation on the National Transfer Scheme

Jenny Coles, ADCS President, said:

“ADCS is pleased the government is consulting on changes to the National Transfer Scheme, we see this as an opportunity to raise again several unresolved issues that we have been raising with officials in the Department for Education and Home Office since 2016. Issues include woefully inadequate levels of funding, the need for a range of suitable placement options to meet the needs of those who arrive as well as availability of specialist mental health support. In the current context the need to quarantine new arrivals should be considered too. It is right that Kent and other gateway authorities should not bear the brunt of supporting the rising number of asylum seeking children arriving alone on UK shores, and we are thankful to the many local authorities who have offered their support so far to help to alleviate the immediate pressures in Kent. Any new arrangements need to be sustainable and have children and young people’s best interests at heart; we believe that the proposal in the consultation for a regional rota system has a better chance of achieving a long term equitable solution. However, a regional rota system is not a long term solution to the long standing issues that government must address, including placement sufficiency, funding levels including funding for care leavers, age assessment, and more timely immigration decision-making for children. ADCS will be responding formally to the consultation after discussions with our members.”

ENDS



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