“Outcomes for looked-after children must be a priority” says Aled Roberts

July 3, 2013 4:02 PM

Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrats Shadow Education Minister, has called on the new Education Minister, Huw Lewis, to thoroughly assess how looked after children are being cared for within the Welsh education system.

Commenting, Aled Roberts said:

"Last year's Wales Audit Office report stated in no uncertain terms that the processes currently in place to improve attainment for looked-after children were seriously flawed.

"The WAO made four recommendations almost a year ago, yet the Minister has said today that plans are still being developed.

"I am concerned that the implementation gap between policy and delivery is still not being addressed by the Welsh Labour Government and the new Minister must now get a firm grip on his extensive portfolio and start providing substantive solutions for Wales' children, particularly those who are in Pupil Referral Units.

"It cannot be right that some children in PRUs can be registered in both a school and a PRU or can remain registered with their mainstream school despite them attending a PRU.

"The Welsh Government discontinued the reporting of numbers of PRUs in 2008/09, so how can educational outcomes be properly assessed if there is so little tracking?

"The risk of young people in PRUs slipping below the radar must be addressed, and I was very disappointed that the Minister was unable to allay my concerns today."

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