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Every parent wants the best for their children, even the State in its capacity as a corporate parent. The  Children and Families Minister has recently announced that more children in care will benefit from places at independent schools, as well as mentoring and access to sports and music facilities, in an effort to improve their outcomes. It is a well-known legal truism that the State has no business engaging in social engineering. However that does not mean that children who end up in care should not be offered the best opportunities possible.

Unfortunately the new scheme is only backed by a relatively small sum of money, although as many as 1000 schools are hoped to participate in the scheme. Realistically, only a handful of children in the whole country are likely to benefit, however. It is hoped that some of those few will have access to most, if not all, of the top independent schools in the country.

Laying down a marker to ‘drive the programme forward’ the minister has set up ten teams to identify opportunities in independent schools for young people in care, where it is suitable to meet their needs.

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