A new Family Learning programme targeted at looked after children is being launched by Whitehead-Ross Education in partnership with Skills & Learning Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole, thanks to funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
In 2017 there were 955 looked after children across the county. This has increased by 195 children and young people over 4 years – a 25.6% increase. Children in care are more likely to have poor educational experiences, leave school with fewer qualifications, are at higher risk of offending, and being not in education, employment or training.
The aim of the project will be to provide Family Learning opportunities for looked after children and young people, along with their Foster Carers. This will involve a variety of 8 week programmes across Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole, providing a mixture of after school creative sessions such as art, craft, drama and cookery, with basic numeracy and literacy to help improve their educational attainment.
It is intended that from attending the programme it will improve relationships at home between the child/young person and their carers, whilst promoting learning for everyone. It will also support young people to stretch horizons, challenge their thinking and develop their skills. The programme is targeted at adult carers aged 19+.
Whitehead-Ross Education has been leading a new Foster Carer recruitment campaign for Dorset County Council since April, raising the profile of fostering as a professional vocation.
Ian Ross, Managing Director of Whitehead-Ross Education, said: “31% of looked after children obtained five GCSEs at grade A* to C in 2015, compared with a national figure of 75%. This programme will aim to support children and young people to achieve their potential through informal learning sessions.”
For further information about the courses and fostering please contact 01305 261626.