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Giving children in care the support they need

Today our blog looks at new reports on children in care, language learning and the Education Secretary’s New Year message to teachers.

Children in Care

Today, Thursday 9 January, the Local Government Association (LGA) released a report saying that the number of children in care has risen by 28 per cent in the past decade. This comes after the department’s statistical release on 5 December on Children looked after in England. Today’s report has been covered by the Guardian, the Sun, the Telegraph and the Express.

In 2020-2021 local authorities across England are set to receive a share of £49.1 billion in funding, an increase of £2.9 billion and the biggest year-on-year real terms increase in spending power in a decade.

A Government spokesperson said:

We are investing £1.5 billion in social care so that every child in care receives the support they need, no matter where they live.

But we know that too many children are waiting for the stable and loving home they deserve, which is why we are boosting the number of foster and adoptive parents and offering plenty of support to these families from the word go – including £45 million through the Adoption Support Fund, announced recently by the Education Secretary. We are moving forward with a review of the system so that children receive the best possible care.


Today, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) released a report on language learning, saying that only 32 per cent of 15-30 year-olds from the UK can read and write in two or more languages. This was covered by the Guardian, the Mail, the Mirror, the Sun and the Times.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We are committed to ensuring more pupils are studying languages, which is why it is compulsory for all children between Years 3 and 9. The introduction of the EBacc halted the decline in languages, and since 2010, the proportion of pupils studying a language at GCSE has risen from 40% to 47% in 2019.

We are also taking a range of steps to make sure that the uptake of languages continues to increase, such as creating a new network of schools and funding programmes like our Mandarin Excellence Programme.

Education Secretary Message

Today, TES published an op-ed by the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, setting out his New Year message to teachers and urging them to share his sense of purpose in driving improvement and ensuring equal opportunities for talented children across the country.

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