The barriers faced by children in care, or looked after children, are manifold and well-documented, perhaps more so now than ever before. How can we help these students to face and overcome these challenges? Virtual school headteacher Darren Martindale advises

In comparison to their peers, looked after children (LAC) are statistically more likely to have complex social or emotional needs as result of the trauma, abuse or neglect they have experienced.

Professionals working with them may lack the skills or resources to meet those needs. This can compound some children’s feelings of exclusion or isolation, damaging their already low self-esteem. High levels of SEND, alongside gaps in their education pre-care, sometimes also leave them lagging well behind their peers.

And despite its best efforts, the care system is always under strain and frequent changes of carer or social worker can often break down these children’s already fragile trust.

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