A few weeks ago I saw a statistic that bothers me… at the end of KS2 75% of pupils ‘pass’ (whatever that means in today’s education world). It has long been recognized that looked after children don’t do as well – 46% of them ‘pass’. Until very recently the data simply hasn’t been available for previously looked after children, it is now – 49%. Which as a mere science teacher, looks closer to 46% than 75%.
There were many things mentioned in the Queen’s speech last week; but one that most people will have ignored is one that effects previously looked after children. Virtual School Head’s roles will extend to cover them. And schools should have a designated teacher for them, much as they do for looked after children. The school will have a duty of care to ensure that previously looked after children have their needs met.
I work at a secondary school, where there are 6 (I am told) adopted children – I know who 3 of them are. This worries me… how can I help them to achieve; how can I understand them if I don’t know who they are? I make sure each year that D’s teachers are aware of him (to be fair the entire school seems to be aware of him) and his background, I will do the same for H. What happens at secondary school; should the information be shared more?
We are constantly been reminded to consider our pupil premium pupils, but there is no differentiation between the different causes of PP/PP+. If we should be as concerned about the pupils who were previously looked after as the data suggests we should be; should we be more aware?
There is a lot of debate around at the minute, regarding adopted children and education, and generally about education. And I think the discussion is important, but there has to be learning as well as discussion. The data is starting to exist, we should react according to the data that is there. More data will be added over the years, it would be good to see that these early feelings about the information can be changed. That 49% is starting point, from where things will improve.