The Education of Looked After Children: The Social Implications of Further Education.
Herd, Rupert. Legge, Tim.
Published: March 2017
Adoption and Fostering
Vol. 41, No. 1 , p. 67-74
Publication Information: British Association for Adoption & Fostering (CoramBAAF)
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Considerable attention is now paid to the education of looked after children in the UK, but the criteria used to judge success tend to focus on GCSE passes and university entry. The further education (FE) sector has been largely overlooked in these discussions even though it provides a wide range of non-school based courses for large numbers of disadvantaged 16–19-year-olds. Evidence from a typical college in England with 6200 students shows that a third of all older adolescents living in the area, most of them with modest academic achievements, have some connection with the college, and that around 700 of them require special mentoring. In addition, over 50 students, 70% of them female, are looked after – the same number of older teenagers as would be in the care of a medium-sized local authority. The article seeks to alert practitioners and carers to the contribution that FE can make to the welfare of older looked after children as participation in college life and the specialist help received can help mitigate some of the widely reported problems facing care leavers. (Author abstract)
foster adolescents; academic achievement; postsecondary education; education; United Kingdom