Headlines: November 13th, 2009

A local government think tank says the education of children in care in the UK is “a national disgrace”. The Local Government Information Unit is calling for ‘game-changing solutions’ to tackle the problem.

The LgiU runs the national Children’s Services Network for local councils and at its annual conference Andy Sawford, the chief executive of the LgiU, highlighted the fact that only six per cent of children in care go on to university. He compared that to the position in other countries, notably Denmark where the figures is 60 per cent.

Mr. Sawford said: “We should be ashamed at how seriously we fail children in care in this country. Those children, who have the wealthiest parent of all – the state – are more likely to end up in prison or on the dole than they are to go on to higher education.” Proposals put forward by the Unit include the creation of a National Academy for Achievement in Social Care. This would give more looked-after children access to top-quality education and training and mean more of the most vulnerable having the same chances as their peers.

“Game changing solutions are needed. Nothing less will do,” Andy Sawford said, adding: “We need an urgent national focus, in a year of political change, on this key issue, which says so much about the kind of society we want to be.”