To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 6 September 2021 to Question 41094 on Children in Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of conducting research into the long-term outcomes for children placed across borders.
23 September 2021
The department has not made an assessment in this area. Where possible, local authorities should provide accommodation that is within their local area as moving a child away from their home area is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are clear statutory requirements in place to safeguard young people, and it is the responsibility of the placing local authority and Directors of Children’s Services who must approve all distant placements.
Statistically, the department collects data on placement type, reason for placement change and three separate pieces of information in relation to the locality of placements. The location data includes:
- information about the distance the child is placed away from their home postcode
- whether the placement is located inside or outside their responsible local authority
- the country of the placement (England, UK or otherwise).
Figures on placements, distance from the home placement and the location of the placement, inside or outside the council boundary, were published in the underlying data ‘National - children looked after at 31 March by placement type, distance of placement and locality of placement’ of the statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2019 to 2020’ at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions/2020.