I was pleased to welcome the announcement by the Secretary of State last Thursday, giving certainty to pupils and teachers alike. Having spoken with Headteachers in our area, I know they too have been seeking this certainty and I am pleased that this has now been received. Please find the full exchange below:
It is always easy to criticise, but does my right hon. Friend agree that while, sadly, it appears that the dog ate Labour’s homework on this one, his statement provides headteachers in my constituency and others with certainty? Does he also share my admiration for the work being done by local authority virtual schools so that children who are in the care system are able to access the wide range of support provided by the Government to ensure that they continue to close the gap with their peers who are not in care?
My hon. Friend highlights a really important area. The virtual school heads programme for local authorities and schools, has been a real success. We have seen a real impact for those children—some of the most vulnerable children in society, with some of the best attendance for them—by getting that tailored support. It is a scheme that I would deeply love to see rolled out more extensively, because the evidence points to the real impact and difference it makes to young people’s lives.