Education Committee

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:04 pm on 14th July 2022.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham 12:04 pm, 14th July 2022

I refer the House to entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the report. I do not agree with all its findings, but it is a great report. The depressing thing is that it could have been written 12 years ago, when some of us in the Department for Education were trying to grapple with just these sorts of injustices that children in care continue to suffer. We need to be so much better at the concept of the pushy parent.

One issue that has not been resolved is children being placed in care closer to the homes they come from, and the multiple placements that mean they do not get the stability and continuity of being in the same school, which inevitably leads to educational underperformances. Why on earth is that still happening, despite everything that Governments have tried to do over 12 years and more? What new evidence did the Committee take about part of the problem still being the lack of smart commissioning, rather than ad hoc, day-to-day commissioning, in order to provide the continuity and stability needed to get children the most appropriate placements, and not just whatever happens to be available, which may not be in the best interests of that child?