To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government plans to take to improve outcomes for care experienced young people.
Every local authority in England must appoint a Virtual School Head who has a statutory duty to promote the educational attainment of all children in their care. Looked-after children have priority in school admissions and attract Pupil Premium Plus funding of £2,410 per child, up to age 16. This is managed by the Virtual School Head, who works with the child’s school to deliver objectives in the child’s Personal Education Plan.
In October 2021, the department launched a £3 million pilot in 30 local authorities to extend Pupil Premium Plus funding to looked-after children and care leavers in post-16 education. This initially ran until March 2022, and we are committed to continuing the pilot to support looked-after children and care leavers in further education.
Care leavers also receive financial support to help them engage in education, employment or training, including bursaries of £1,000 to undertake an apprenticeship and £2,000 to go to university, and they are also a priority group for the 16-19 further education bursary.
The department has launched the care leaver covenant, which supports care leavers into employment, and established the Civil Service care leaver internship scheme, which has seen over 700 young people being offered 12 month paid internships across government.