Children raised by kinship carers to be given extra support to access school places

The new School Admissions Code, which will apply from September 2021, will now support more children in kinship care to access a school place during the school year.

18/05/21

Children raised by kinship carers to be given extra support to access school places

The Department for Education has revised its School Admissions Code to support more children in kinship care to access a school place.

Under the revised Fair Access Protocol, children being raised by kinship carers under a legal order, who struggle to get a school place during the year, will be supported to secure 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 currently more than 180,000 children across the UK raised in kinship care – by relatives, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers or sisters or family friends who step in to raise children who cannot safely live with their parents.

The new provision applies to children raised by a kinship carer under a ‘child-arrangements order’ or a special guardianship order, as well as to children in the care system.

Andrew Gwynne MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kinship Care, has welcomed the change.

“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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