London Fostering Achievement, an innovative new programme that is bringing together leaders, foster carers, teachers, young people and the wider professional network to improve educational outcomes for children living with foster families, and it is part of the Mayor’s London Schools Excellence Fund, funded by the Department for Education and the Greater London Authority.
The programme will promote the important role of foster carers as ‘first educators’ of children in care and more than 2,000 foster carers and teaching staff across London will take part in the innovative and high quality training programme.
The programme will work intensively with 27 schools to close the achievement gap between fostered children and their peers, improve behaviour and attendance, and strengthen school relationships with foster carers. We will also be providing masterclasses for foster carers, virtual school heads and other professionals across London covering a range of educational topics.
Children in care traditionally do less well academically than their peers, with only 21 per cent in London achieving five GCSEs including English and Maths compared to a national average of 61 per cent of children in mainstream education.
Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families, and whose own family fostered around 90 children, said: “Supporting foster children through school – whether it’s helping them with their maths homework, listening to them read or watching them play their first match for the school football team – is one of the most important things a foster parent can do.
“The London Fostering Achievement is an exciting project which will help bring together professionals, teachers and young people to ensure that children in foster care get access to the best educational support from their first day at school right through to applying to university.”