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Children in Care: Boarding Schools

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th June 2018.

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Photo of Lord Lexden Lord Lexden Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have plans to help more children in care to secure places in state and independent boarding schools.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

This government wants every child, whatever their background and no matter what challenges they face, to have access to a world-class education that prepares them for life in the modern world. This is particularly important for looked-after children who start with the disadvantage of their pre-care experiences and who may also have special educational needs.

It is for this reason that we launched the Boarding School Partnerships (BSP) Information Service which is aimed at both independent and state boarding schools. This will give local authorities the tools and information they need to consider boarding as an option for children in their care. We believe that this could be beneficial for some children in or on the edge of care.

The BSP Information Service, in partnership with the Norfolk County Council and the Norfolk Boarding School Partnership, recently published research on positive outcomes for vulnerable children following placements in boarding. This research identified a number of benefits including reducing the likelihood of a child going into care and improved educational outcomes. While this is not suitable for all children, we would urge local authorities to consider boarding as an option if it is suitable for the child in question.

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