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Saturday, 19 September 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

Schools will need government help with vulnerable children when they return, charity warns

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ADOPTION UK is calling on the governments in all four nations of the UK to provide additional funding and resources to help schools support those children who will struggle most, when educational settings re-open, post COVID-19 lockdown.

Half of the parents who completed Adoption UK’s Home learning during COVID-19 lockdown report said their child is experiencing emotional distress and anxiety, while around a third (31%) said they are experiencing an increase in violence, or aggression, from their child.

Care experienced children are among the most vulnerable in the country due to their traumatic start in life. But despite this, of those who are currently home-based during lockdown, 85% are not receiving any additional support in respect of their care-experienced status, the survey found.

Rebecca Brooks, author of the report, said:

“These children have traumatic life experiences that can make learning and mental health a herculean struggle during normal times, let alone during a global pandemic.

“School closures and lockdown are exacerbating learning and emotional problems, including an increase in violent behaviour. Schools are struggling to support their pupils with highest needs.”

Mrs Brooks added: “This is why we’re urging the governments across the UK to provide schools with the funding they will desperately need to help these children with their return to school – supporting not only their learning, but also their wellbeing.”

However, the report also shows that some families with care-experienced children are clearly thriving during lockdown. Around half of the respondents who completed the survey said their family relationships are improving and the same proportion of those parenting secondary aged children, said their children are calmer.

To find out about the impact of school closures on care experienced children, Adoption UK ran a week-long survey in April for parents and carers of care-experienced children who would normally be in school. The UK-wide survey received 660 valid responses.

Previous Adoption UK research has shown that adopted children, on average, achieve significantly less well in exams than their peers, are more likely to have a range of higher-level learning needs and are 20 times more likely to be permanently excluded when compared to their peers.

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