There's more......

“The government repeatedly states that its reforms are all about getting people off benefits. But the rhetoric doesn’t match the reality; Care to Learn has a proven track record when it comes to its recipients going into further education or work.

This cut is based on a completely false economy. Not only will it save very little in the short term but cost more in the long term when those that have been denied access to education can’t find employment and are stuck on benefits.

And, like so many other coalition policies, it will hit women hardest – 99% of recipients were women in 2008/09. Yet despite this fact, there is no equality impact assessment of the proposals.

There’s no logic economic or otherwise to cutting Care to Learn back. It’s a callous attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our society that will freeze young mothers out of education and trap them and their children in the cycle of poverty."

Estelle Hart, National Women’s Officer of the National Union of Students (NUS)
read here

"Looked after children and care leavers are not only more likely than their peers to have children at a young age, they are also more likely to experience educational disruptions, have poorer educational outcomes, and require support to return to education to get basic qualifications or complete their education as they get older. Care to Learn is an important part of the state support that young people leaving care who are also parents can receive to allow them to return to education – restricting this support would disadvantage this very vulnerable group of young people even further.

Despite low attainment in exams at school age some care leavers as they get older are keen to resume their studies, as the evidence above illustrates this can be especially important for young parents who may have had to take time out from their studies to look after their children. Without support to access financial support to return to education, including provision for child care, many young people who have missed out on education may be unable to return to take up studies at a later date. As a result, care leavers often do not fulfill their potential."

The National Care Advisory Service (NCAS)
read here

Platform 51 has also written a joint open letter
read here - alongside Daycare Trust, NUS, Fawcett Society and Nasma - urging Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education, to reconsider his proposed cuts to the successful Care to Learn programme.

This letter highlights the concerns raised by Prymface regarding young parents being pressured into returning to education too soon:

"We know from direct experience that many teenage parents are not ready to re-engage with education or training for a year or two after their child is born. They need time to adjust to their new role and responsibilities as well as dealing with financial and housing difficulties they may be facing."

These are all great responses, and hopefully the DfE wont be able to ignore them when the message is loud, clear and consistent - DO NOT CUT CARE TO LEARN!!!