§ Jacqui Smith
Although residential care establishments are able to access and use the National Curriculum if they are undertaking education within their establishments, only maintained schools are obligated to do so.
The Government expects and is committed to providing mainstream education including access to the full National Curriculum for all children of school age, wherever this is suitable. The recently published joint Department for Education and Employment and Department of Health "Guidance On The Education of Children and Young People in Public Care" stipulates that: "The Government expects local authorities to set a maximum time limit of twenty school days within which they must secure an education placement for any pupil in public care. It will be a full-time place in a local mainstream school unless the circumstances of the child make full-time or local or mainstream provision unsuitable". This is supported by statutory guidance in Circular LAC(2000)13.