£20 MILLION TO GIVE CHILDREN ADOPTED FROM CARE THE BEST START IN LIFE
ADOPTION REGISTER TO GIVE PARENTS MORE ACTIVE ROLE
All schoolchildren adopted from care are to benefit from £20m of additional Pupil Premium
money to get the support they need to thrive at school – helping around an extra 10,000
The extension of the funding, worth £1,900 per pupil, will help to close the attainment gap
and transform pupil’s future life chances across England. Previously, only children adopted
from care since 30 December 2005 were eligible.
Children adopted from care do not perform as well as their classmates at school. In 2013,
less than half of adopted children reached the expected levels of reading, writing and maths
at Key Stage 2, compared with 75% of non-adopted children.
The Government is also announcing today that 29 councils and voluntary adoption agencies
are being given the green light to allow people approved to adopt to search the national
Adoption Register from this September. The pilot will allow approved adopters to learn more
about the children who are waiting for a loving, stable home. They will be able to find out
about their hobbies, likes and dislikes, and hear them speak and laugh in videos and
Opening up the Register is designed to ensure that children are placed more quickly with
families who can give them the stability and security they deserve. Strict safeguards will be
put in place to ensure the safety and privacy of children and approved adopters.
Minister for Children and Families, Edward Timpson, who has two adopted brothers, said:
“A child’s needs don’t change overnight just because they are adopted. It is vital that
these vulnerable children are given the right support they need and the education they
deserve to help them get on in life. Extending the Pupil Premium to all children adopted
will mean they get support they need from day one at school, no matter what their
starting point in life.”
“Opening up the Adoption Register– allowing parents approved to adopt to see videos
and pictures, to hear the children speak and laugh - while keeping in place the strictest
safeguards – will give them a greater role in the process and ensure more children are
placed with their new family much more quickly.”
Sir Martin Narey, government adviser on adoption, said:
"Sometimes adopter-led matching leads to the adoption of children for whom hope of
adoption has almost been abandoned. In their search for a child, adopters
sometimes feel a chemistry that makes a child who might not otherwise have been
considered for them, seem right to them.
“I warmly applaud the decision to open the Register to adopters. More children
desperately in need of an adoptive home will now find that home earlier. "
Last year saw a record 15% increase in adoptions and these announcements, which build
on this success, are part of a package of new measures that have come into force today –
removing barriers to successful matches by ensuring ethnicity is not prioritised by
councils and adoption agencies over other factors – such as the ability to provide a
loving, stable home;
placing new rules on councils to actively consider Fostering for Adoption places
where appropriate – allowing children to move in with their potential new adoptive
family much earlier;
putting a new legal duty on all councils to tell adopters about the assistance and
support available to them – including access to priority schools admissions for their
children, the Pupil Premium Plus, and fifteen hours of free early years education for
two year olds.
Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, said:
“I welcome opening the Register to approved adopters. We need to trust adopters
more in deciding which children they can offer a stable and loving home. It will help
more children find a permanent family more quickly.”
Notes to Editors:
1. From April this year children adopted from care under the Adoption and Children Act
2002 (implemented on 30 December 2005) attracted the Pupil Premium for the first
time. The Pupil Premium has now been extended to cover all children adopted from
care which means schools will get extra funding this financial year for pupils adopted
before 30 December 2005. The change in eligibility for the Pupil Premium follows the
Government’s revised advice to school admission authorities which asks them to give
all children adopted from care the highest priority and is part of the Government’s
wider reform programme to give them the support they need.
2. The Pupil Premium money will help schools provide tailored support to raise the
attainment of all adopted children from this September, such as additional catch up
sessions or specialist training for staff working with children adopted from care.
3. Based on self-declared adoption data from parents in 2013, less than half of these
adopted children reached the expected levels of reading, writing and maths at Key
Stage 2, compared with 75% of non-adopted children.
4. The Adoption Register includes details of children waiting to be adopted and
approved prospective adopters referred by adoption agencies, such as further
information and pictures of the child. Videos will be available from October.
The Adoption Register is currently used by social workers to find homes for children
waiting to be adopted. The Register is run under contract by the British Association
for Adoption and Fostering.
5. 1,345 children and 747 adoptive families were on the Adoption Register as of 1 June
2014. Over 1,040 children in England have been matched by the Register since April
6. Barbara Hutchinson, interim CEO, British Association for Fostering and Adoption,
Evidence from other adopter-led initiatives has shown that when given better
information, approved adopters will often consider children whom they would
otherwise not consider. This could be particularly beneficial for those children who
are currently seen as "harder to place", and yet so desperately need a loving home.
The Register has always been at the forefront of adopter-led initiatives and we
believe that adopter access to the Register will both increase the speed of matching,
and enable more matches to be made.
7. The local authorities taking part in the pilot are:
2. Blackburn with Darwen
4. Cheshire East
12. North Tyneside
17. Telford & Wrekin
8. The Voluntary Adoption Agencies taking part in the pilot are:
1. Action for Children (Mosaic)
2. Adoption Matters North West
3. After Adoption
4. Caritas Care
5. Coram (London and East Midlands)
6. DFW Adoption
7. Faith in Families
8. Families for Children
9. Parents and Children Together
10. Yorkshire Adoption Agency
The pilots will begin on the 1st
September 2014 and run for nine months.
Press Officer, Children and Families Desk
Tel: 020 7340 8189 – Ext: x308189