London Fostering Achievement, run in partnership with Achievement for All 3As and funded by the Mayor of London through the London Schools Excellence Fund, aims to develop the confidence and skills of London's foster carers and support them to work with schools to help the children in their care achieve their potential in education. The programme will also work directly with schools to increase attainment, improve attendance and reduce exclusions amongst the children involved.
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. Foster carers in five boroughs and staff from 27 schools and nine virtual schools will receive more intensive support.
Children in care traditionally do less well academically than their peers, with only 20.8 per cent in London achieving five GCSEs including English and Maths compared to a national average of 61.3 per cent of children in mainstream education.
Dr Lucy Peake, director of external affairs at the Fostering Network, said: "It is widely accepted that our family can have a significant influence on our education. For the vast majority of children in care it is their foster carers with whom they live, learn and grow. Foster carers already play a vital role in raising aspirations and supporting children and young people in care. This programme, delivered with a wealth of expertise, will develop the work foster carers already do and push it to the next level so the children in their care achieve the very best they can at school."
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "We set up the London Schools Excellence Fund to raise standards in teaching and attainment amongst pupils across the capital, regardless of background. The Fostering Network's new programme is going to make a big difference to the lives of children in care, by ensuring they do not fall through the cracks and are nurtured and supported to succeed at school and compete at the very highest levels when they are older."
For more information on the programme visit the London Fostering Achievement website.