Learning and Work for care leavers in Wales and England

19 October 2016

To mark the start of National Care Leavers’ Week, Learning and Work Institute is launching new ways to improve the chances for Looked After Young People and Care Leavers.

The picture in Wales:

At present, looked after children have a 46% attainment rate at Key Stage 3 – compared to the average of all children which is 81%. 40% of 19-year-old care leavers are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

The Welsh Government’s target is for 75% of care leavers on their 19th birthday to be in education employment or training by 2018.

Learning and Work Institute, working with the Welsh Government, has developed a new way for learning providers to monitor how they work with looked after young people and care leavers.

In the resource, they will find examples of good practice, reflective questions and an action planning tool to assess current performance.

Cerys Furlong, Director of Learning and Work Institute in Wales, said:

“Our ongoing work in Wales, that supports the Welsh Government’s strategy for care leavers, will provide targeted support to colleges to improve their outcomes for care leavers and deliver training sessions to raise colleges’ and training providers’ awareness of care leavers’ needs.”

The picture in England:

Learning and Work Institute are working closely with the Department for Education to develop new resources for local authorities, providers and employers to make sure care leavers are given opportunities to succeed in learning and work. The resources include a dedicated web resource, a guide for employers and a ‘Really Useful Book of Learning and Earning’ for care leavers.

Key measures in the UK Government’s new strategy for care leavers, such as the new Care Leaver Covenant, will encourage organisations to make a commitment to improving care leavers’ life chances.

Nicola Aylward, Learning and Work Institute’s Head of Learning for Young People, said:

“Care leavers face a huge range of challenges in relation to learning and work; they are far less likely to get A*-C grades at GCSE and are almost twice as likely to not be in employment, education or training. Young people enter the care system through no fault of their own.

“As a society we have a duty to make sure that they have the range and quality of opportunities that all young people have, and that they can aim and achieve highly. We welcome both the English and Welsh governments’ strategies to improve care leavers’ life chances and are working to make these a reality.

“It’s a great opportunity to work with local authorities, providers and employers to enable care leavers to access, achieve and progress in education and employment and get the support they both need and deserve.”

Visit our Welsh site for more information and links to all the resources.

For more information about our work on care leavers, please contact Nicola at nicola.aylward@learningandwork.org.uk