How well is SA’s education system doing for young people in care?

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The Guardian’s report Children and Young People in State Care in South Australian Government Schools 2007-2013 tracks trends in school enrollment, attendance and literacy/numeracy of children in care in government schools.

There has been a decline in the proportion of children under guardianship who attend government schools, but a rise in the actual number. There has been a decline since 2009 in the rate of suspensions for children under guardianship, though it is still three times the rate of the schools’ population as a whole.

There was good attendance overall by children under guardianship, with absence rates equivalent to the absence rates of the government schools’ population.

The Office of Schools in the Department of Education and Child Development will be concerned about the significantly lower rates of children under guardianship reaching the minimum standard in literacy and numeracy, as measured in NAPLAN testing.  While the gap overall has lessened since 2008, it is still wide.  This is not about the ability of the children but about educators paying attention to the learning needs of this group.

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