To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 September 2021 to Question 51628 on Children in Care, for what reasons the Department does not account for the outcomes of children placed in care across borders; and if the Department will reconsider conducting research into the long-term outcomes of children placed across borders.
20 October 2021
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.
It is the duty of the local authority to ensure placements are suitable for the young people in their care. Alongside this, Virtual School Heads have a statutory duty to promote the educational attainment of the children in their local authority's care, wherever they live or are educated. This includes children who are placed out of area. Virtual School Heads manage additional funding of £2,345 per looked-after child, that we have provided through the pupil premium plus.
This government is committed to making a real difference to the needs, experience and outcomes of those supported by children’s social care. To do this, we need to make fundamental changes to the current system. That is why we launched the bold, broad and independently led Care Review, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform systems and services. The government will respond to the recommendations made by the review once it concludes.