Children who have been ‘in care’ abroad could get priority at Hertfordshire schools

Education
Education

State schools in Herts could soon give priority to children who have been ‘in care’ abroad as part of their admissions processes.

Children who are – or who have been – ‘looked after’ by a local authority in England or Wales are already given top priority for local authority school places in the county.

And that means that, if the school they have applied for is over-subscribed, they automatically go to the top of the list.

Now there are plans to revise the admissions process so that adopted children who have been in ‘state care’  elsewhere in  the world would also get priority.

The government has 
already written to all 
admissions authorities across the country, asking for these children to be 
given priority. Formal legislation is expected to be drawn up following the end of Brexit negotiations.

But in the meantime, Herts County Council has drawn up plans to prioritise children who have been in state care abroad under so-called ‘rule 2’.

That means they would be given the second highest level of priority for places, alongside other children with “exceptional social and medical need to attend a specific school”.

The move was backed by a meeting of the county council’s cabinet on Monday. It will now go out to a six-week public consultation. On Thursday (October 18) it was also backed by the education libraries and localism cabinet panel.

At the meeting Cllr 
Anthony Rowlands said: “Lots of these children have had the most traumatic experiences. And I am glad the government is giving them this higher 
priority.”