Adopted children are falling behind their peers at school because they are not properly understood, says Adoption UK. The charity hopes to raise £10,000 to provide schools with more understanding for adopted children after half (51 per cent) of them failed to hit educational targets at junior schools last year. Their educational attainment was also significantly lower than the whole key stage 2 population.
Eighty per cent of adoptive parents believe their child needs more or different support in school because of their early childhood experiences, an Adoption UK survey of its membership found. Parents also told the charity they have had to educate their child’s teachers about adoption-related issues.
About 5,050 children were adopted last year, of which almost three-quarters (70 percent) were removed from their birth families because of abuse or neglect. Their early childhood experiences can often lead to behavioural, physical and emotional difficulties. Adoption UK helps support adoptive parents build brighter futures for their children.
The ‘Reaching Their Full Potential’ appeal was launched on 2 December.
Funding from the appeal will be used by the charity to work with local authorities, schools and educational professionals to help increase the knowledge and understanding of the needs of adopted children. By working closely with those in the profession, the charity aims to design training programmes and support services that will help those working with adopted children in schools to transform their educational experiences.
Hugh Thornbery, chief executive of Adoption UK, said: “This year has seen significant progress within the education sector in England including the extension of the pupil premium funding. This shows there is a better understanding within the government around the needs of adopted children in school.
“However, much more needs to be done at the frontline, within schools, to help these very vulnerable children achieve better educational outcomes in England and across the UK.
“We conducted a survey of our membership and while we were not surprised by the results, it is evident that it is the children who are bearing the cost of this lack of understanding within the school setting.”
Mr Thornbery added: “The whole system needs improving and with help from our supporters, Adoption UK can lead the way.”