§ Jacqui Smith
In June last year, my Department and the Department of Health jointly consulted on draft guidance on the education of children looked after by local authorities. Some 205 consultees replied by the mid-October deadline, and officials have since discussed some of the key issues arising from the consultation with partners in local government and the voluntary sector. Officials are now revising the guidance, and I expect the final guidance to issue before the end of March.
We believe that this guidance, backed up by support for local authorities during the implementation period, should enable them to fulfil better their role as corporate parents 155W and raise the level of educational attainment of this group of young people. Higher educational attainment should in turn improve their general life chances.