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Teachers lack training to support children in care

Study finds 75% of teachers who qualified post-2010 received no training about looked after children pre-qualification.

Published on 1st October 2018

Almost 90% of teachers have heard a collegue make "a negative generalisation" about looked after children, according to a new study.

The research says a significant training gap is leaving teachers ill-prepared to support children in care in their schools.

Natasha Finlayson, Chief Executive of Become - who caried out the research with Voices from Care Cymru - said: “There are around 79,000 children in care in England and Wales, so it’s very likely that a teacher will have a care experienced child in their classroom.

“We were shocked to discover such a stark gap in the training of new teachers on working with some of society’s most vulnerable children. Many care experienced children have additional needs that can make integrating into a mainstream school challenging, even though with the right support it’s often the best place for them to be," she added.

The report surveyed 447 teachers across England and Wales to gather their experiences of training, working with children’s services, and how often they hear negative stereotypes about children in care from colleagues.

The report found:

- 87% of respondents had heard at least one colleague express a negative generalisation about children in care, and 31% of respondents had heard such views often.

- 87% of respondents received no training about looked after children before they qualified as a teacher.

- 75% of teachers who qualified post-2010 received no training pre-qualification.

- 26% of respondents received no training about looked after children before or after they qualified.

The report is calling for the introduction of mandatory training on working with children in care in all schools for all teachers, both before and after they qualify.

It makes nine recommendations to schools, training providers, the government and local authorities including that steps are taken to improve dialogue between schools and local authorities, and to challenge negative attitudes towards children in care amongst students and staff through whole-school assemblies.

Natasha Finlayson concluded: “More training and joined-up working between schools and children’s services is required if we are to improve outcomes for looked after children and challenge the stigma found in schools across the country.”

Teachers who care




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