Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said:

“It is a travesty that care experienced children encounter vastly worse education outcomes than their peers. 39 per cent of 19-21-year-old care leavers are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). Too often ‘zero tolerance’ behaviour policies result in punitive sanctions and exclusion for young people in care. 

“The government is failing these children. A lack of investment in the social care workforce, the ill-fated privatisation of children’s homes and the devastating impact of austerity all combine to stack the odds against those in care. More funding is urgently needed to support care leavers in their transition from school. 

“We must recentre these children within our education approaches to ensure that they can express and process their experiences safely. It is vital that all staff receive relevant training around attachment theory and trauma informed approaches.” 


Note to editors

We are currently in Bournemouth for our Annual Conference (11-14 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.  

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 07879 480 061. You can also email the press officer at  

Our conference agenda is available here

The hashtag for Annual Conference is #NEU2022 

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe. 
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.