HC Deb 19 June 2002 vol 387 c369W
Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what provision the Government have made to ensure children in care remain in the same educational institution until the age of 16 years. [63114]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

The Government recognise that changes in care arrangements can disrupt the education of children who are looked after, and are determined to promote stability.

This Department, jointly with the Department of Health, issued guidance to all authorities in May 2000 on the education of children and young people in public care. The guidance emphasizes the importance of a stable care and education placement in order to promote educational success for children in public care. The Department of Health also set targets within the quality protects programme to promote stability and reduce placement moves.

Under S22(3) of the Children Act, local authorities have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children and young people who are looked after, education being a critical dimension of their welfare. It is for local authorities to decide on a case-by-case basis whether it is in the best interests of a child in public care to remain in the same educational establishment.