By Ninder Kaur
Celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale joined around 150 foster carers and fostered children to celebrate educational achievement at the Science Museum on Wednesday 23 September.
The event, hosted by Achievement for All and The Fostering Network was held as part of London
Fostering Achievement – a unique programme of work designed to raise the educational aspirations and achievements of children living with foster families across the capital.
Research shows children in care have poorer educational outcomes than their peers. Only 16.8% of children in care in London achieve 5 A*-C including English and Maths at Key Stage 2, compared to 63% of the total London population.
High proportions have special educational needs; 67.8% nationally. The gap between the attainment of children in care and their peers remains a high priority for the government.
Children and adults alike were able to experience the exhilarating Red Arrows flight simulators for free, witness live explosive science shows, and enjoy over 50 interactive exhibits. All were treated to free ice cream and milkshakes throughout the evening.
East-London born Lorraine Pascale, said:
“Education plays a vital role in the development of any child, and London Fostering Achievement has supported foster carers in ensuring that children living in foster carers can achieve their full potential. This event has been a superb opportunity for fostering families from across London to come together and enjoy themselves as a reward for all of their hard work.
“Having spent time in foster care as a child, I can really value what being part of a positive fostering family can mean, and so it’s been amazing to be here meeting everyone and seeing so many smiles.”
The LFA programme is funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Department for Education (DfE) and is backed by the Mayor of London.
CEO of Achievement for All Professor Sonia Blandford said:
“Children in care traditionally do less well academically than their peers and are often less engaged in their education. The LFA programme helps to develop the confidence and skills of foster carers and support them to bridge the gap between school and home to help children in their care achieve the very best in their education.
“Foster carers are the first educators of children in care and by working alongside carers, teachers and schools we can successfully boost aspirations around what children can achieve.”
Lisa Belletty, Programmes Manager at The Fostering Network added:
“Foster carers play a vital role in boosting educational outcomes for children in their care. Through the work of London Fostering Achievement, we have heard so many inspirational examples of foster carers, including our education champions, going the extra mile to help children achieve. Hundreds of fostered children from across the capital will have their life and education improved because of London Fostering Achievement, and that on its own is reason enough to celebrate. Through this event, we want to thank foster carers and children for all their hard work over the last year and to recognise their outstanding commitment and dedication.”