Northern Ireland

Programme sees foster children's exam results improve

Exam hall
Image caption The programme has helped students get above-average exam results

Hundreds of children and young people in care are getting above-average exam results with help from a new programme, a charity has said.

Fostering Achievement was set up after statistics showed those in care were much less likely to do well in school.

There are 17,000 children living with foster parents in Northern Ireland.

Fostering Achievement has helped many of them with tuition fees and extra equipment.

Five GCSEs at A* to C grade is the accepted target, but only 16% of fostered children achieve that, compared to the Northern Ireland average of 71%.

In what is described as a "ground-breaking" scheme, more than half of those who took part achieved at least five good results and some have gone on to university.

The children got money for computers, extra private tuition for their exams and driving lessons.

The scheme has cost almost £6m so far which has been mostly paid for by the Department of Health and Social Services.