Thank you for your email regarding the Children's Society’s report, Crumbling Futures.
I can assure you that every effort is being made to support vulnerable children and young people through their education and late teenage years. I recognise that these years can be particularly volatile for many teenagers and that it’s incredibly important for local services to provide continuity of care from the transition from childhood to adulthood. For that reason, the Government has announced a programme of work to improve our understanding of the educational experiences and outcomes of all children with additional needs and those who live in challenging circumstances.
The Government has also announced a review into school exclusions. This will help the Department for Education to understand how and why schools use exclusion, what drives the variation in exclusion rates and, in particular, the disproportionate exclusion rates of some groups - including black Caribbean boys, Children in Need, Looked After Children, and those with Special Educational Needs. Children excluded from school are more likely to end up in the criminal justice system and I would like to echo the Education Secretary in saying that we must make sure that every child, whatever their background, should have access to a world-class education which prepares them for life in the modern world. I believe this review will shine a light on how exclusions are used throughout the country and will suggest how to improve educational outcomes for children who face acute challenges in their lives. It will explore and identify effective practice which can then be shared across the system.
You may be pleased to know that a £4 million grant-funding programme has been launched to support and develop projects that seek to deliver better outcomes for children in alternative provision (AP) and provide an opportunity to share effective practice across the sector.
This investment will also encourage parents to have greater involvement in their children's education and support children moving from alternative provision into post-16 education or training so that they reach adulthood ready to take the opportunities in front of them and succeed in later life.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.