The Fostering Network has launched a new programme, London Fostering Achievement, in partnership with Achievement for All to improve educational outcomes for children living with foster families.
There are around 10,090 fostered children under the care of London boroughs on any one day. And The Fostering Network estimates that at least 1,025 new foster families are needed across London in 2014 alone to make sure every child has the opportunity to live with a skilled foster carer who can meet their needs.
With children in care traditionally having a lower attainment level than their peers – just 20.8% achieving five GCSE’s including maths and English, compared to the national average of 61.3% in mainstream education – it is important work.
The programme brings together leaders, foster carers, teachers, young people and the wider professional network to support children living with foster families. The Fostering Network aims to develop the skills and confidence of foster carers in the capital by supporting them to work with schools to ensure children in their care achieve the best in their education.
The programme seeks to boost the knowledge, skills and confidence of foster carers. It aims to improve attainment, increase attendance and reduce exclusions for the children directly supported through the programme.
Working with teachers and social workers alongside foster carers, the programme will promote foster carers as ‘first educators’ of children in care, encouraging these groups to work together to enable children to succeed.
More than 2,000 foster carers, teaching staff and wider professionals across London will take part in the innovative training programme. Foster carers in five London boroughs and staff from 27 schools and nine virtual schools will receive more focused and dedicated support.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “We set up the London Schools Excellence Fund to raise standards in teaching and attainment amongst pupils across the capital, regardless of background. The Fostering Network’s new programme is going to make a big difference to the lives of children in care, by ensuring they do not fall through the cracks and are nurtured and supported to succeed at school and compete at the very highest levels when they are older.”
Dr Lucy Peake, director of external affairs at the Fostering Network, said: “It is widely accepted that our family can have the biggest influence on our education. For the vast majority of children in care this is their foster carers with whom they live, learn and grow. Foster carers already play a vital role in raising aspirations and supporting children and young people in care. This programme, delivered with a wealth of expertise, will develop the work foster carers already do and push it to the next level so the children in their care achieve the very best they can at school.”
For more information on the programme, click here
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