Councils told to appoint virtual school head
Every local authority will have to appoint a 'virtual school head' responsible for improving the educational attainment of children in care, under the provisions of a new Bill.
Measures contained in the Children and Families Bill would require the virtual head to champion the school performance of children in council care as if they were pupils of the same school.
Other measures include plans to streamline family justice procedures to remove delays, reform of special educational needs extending the system from birth to 25 and enshrining the independence of the Children's Commissioner.
Among proposals to make childcare more flexible, the Bill introduces childminder agencies which would make it easier for schools to offer 'wrap-around' care. Parental leave reforms outlined in the Bill could also allow parents to mix and match care of the first year of a child's infancy, provided they take no more than 52 week's combined leave in total.
Children and families' minister, Edward Timpson said: 'In this Bill we will overhaul adoption - breaking down barriers for adopters and provide more support to children.
'We will reform family justice - tackling appalling delays and focusing on the needs of the child. And we will improve services for vulnerable young people, transforming the Special Educational Needs system and better protecting children's rights.'
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