Children in kinship care to receive more support to secure school place

Fiona Simpson
Friday, May 14, 2021

Kinship carers are set to receive more support to secure school places for the children then look after as part of the Department for Education’s revised School Admissions Code.

There are 180,000 children in kinship care in the UK. Picture: Adobe Stock
There are 180,000 children in kinship care in the UK. Picture: Adobe Stock

Under the reformed Fair Access Protocol, which comes into force in September, children being raised by kinship carers under a legal order, who struggle to get a school place during the year, will be supported in finding one.

The change follows concerns raised last year by the cross-party Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care, that some children being raised by relatives or friends, particularly those children who are not and have not been in the care system, are missing out on vital support to secure an appropriate school place.

There are more than 180,000 children across the UK raised in kinship care arrangements, latest government figures show.

The new provision applies to children raised by a kinship carer under a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order. It also applies to children in the care system. 

Andrew Gwynne MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kinship Care, said: “When a child comes to live with a kinship carer, when they can no longer remain at home, it is often in an emergency situation and it can be a struggle to arrange an appropriate school place that best meets their needs. The carer may also need to manage this alongside the needs of their own children. This important change should help make the practicalities of day-to-day life for kinship carers easier.

“However, we continue to encourage the government to go further to ensure support is not limited by legal order and that children in kinship care are eligible for the same rights to priority school admissions as looked-after and previously looked-after children.”

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