The Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams today (6 October) attended the Carmarthenshire Celebration of looked after children awards at Ffos Las Race Racecourse in Llanelli.
Kirsty Williams joined the Children’s Commissioner Sally Holland, council leaders, foster carers and school teachers to acknowledge the hard work and educational achievements of looked after children in Carmarthenshire who come from a background of family crisis or breakdown.
The children and young people were awarded for good school attendance and educational achievement as well as their contribution to sports, music and volunteering.
Kirsty Williams said:
“Children who enter care often come from very difficult family circumstances. We cannot change their personal experiences, but we have to mitigate the impact and support them into a rewarding, fulfilling and independent adulthood. Research shows that too often simply being ‘in care’ lowers the expectations placed on these young people.
This culture impacts negatively on their ability to achieve in all aspects of their lives, including education. Today’s awards ceremony proves that this needn’t be the case and showcases just what our looked after learners are capable of given the right support.”
The awards reflect the achievements of cared for children at Key Stage 4 where last summer, 23% of looked after children in Wales achieved L2 Inclusive (5 GCSEs at Grade A*-C in English or Welsh and mathematics) representing a 10 percentage point increase since 2013.