I am dubious about Councils handing over money to the Local Government Information Unit. But their boss Andy Sawford is right to focus on their poor outcomes for children in care (or "Looked After Children") as they are known. He says on the LGIU blog:
Of every 1000 children in care only 7 will go on to University. Children in care have the wealthiest parent of all – the state – yet it fails them in this most fundamental aspect of child development: education. It won’t surprise you to know that children in care today are more likely to go to prison than to go on to get a degree. It doesn’t have to be like this. The Danes for example manage to send 7 in 10 of their children in care to University. At LGiU we are interested in whether we can import some of the success of social pedagogy, but in reality we need more urgent game changing solutions to improve the education of children in care right now.
I will be interested to see what they come up with. There is a lot to be said for the Danish school system. 13% of Danish children attend fee-paying schools compared with only about 7% here. Also some form of further or higher education is very much the norm for Danish children in general to move on to.
Harriet Sergeant has written an important study of failings in the provision of foster care called Handle with Care published by the Centre for Policy Studies. Sir Cyril Taylor has written on this site about how to improve the prospects for children in care – notably by increasing boarding school provision.
Best of all is to achieve a reduction in the number of children in care by increasing the adoption rate.