Welsh Pupil Deprivation Grant can now be used to support education of children adopted from care
Published: 06.02.15A new strategy to raise the ambitions and educational attainment of children who are looked after in Wales has been unveiled by the Welsh Government earlier this week.
Launched by the Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis and the Minister for Health and Social Services, Mark Drakeford, it sets out proposed arrangements to further support the educational attainment of children who are looked after, primarily of compulsory school age but also includes transition to further and higher education.
The consultation also sets out the Welsh Government's intention to change the arrangements to support children who are looked after through the Pupil Deprivation Grant.
From April 2015 regional education consortia, working with schools and authorities, will be responsible for the delivery of effective support and outcomes for looked after children. Consortia will also have flexibility to support the education of former looked after children who have been adopted.
In response, Hugh Thornbery, Adoption UK CEO said:
"About 80 percent of adoptive parents in Wales tell us their child needs more, or different, support in school than their peers due to their early life experiences so we welcome this development.
"Adoption UK has a background in developing key educational programmes so is delighted to be working with the Welsh Government to help schools and local authorities find ways to support adopted children and ensure they reach their full potential. We are also delighted that the Welsh Government is introducing arrangements to enable regional education consortia in Wales to support the education of former looked after children who are adopted through the Pupil Deprivation Grant.
"School staff, and the public in general, often believe that once a child is adopted their difficulties disappear, however this is not the case. Our aim is to increase awareness of the needs of adopted children in schools and to help schools become better equipped to meet those needs.
"The sorts of difficulties which adopted children experience in relation to education are often multi-faceted and are therefore difficult to identify.
"Adoption UK Wales is now working directly with adopted children to find out their experiences of school and will soon be producing a video to help others understand how it feels."