Education Outcomes for Looked After Children 2014/15

Date: 13th July 2016
Category: Care Experienced children

This publication links school and social work data to present information on the attainment, post-school destinations of looked after young people who leave school, and the school attendance and exclusion rates of all looked after children.

This first two chapters of this publication gives information on the education outcomes of the 427 young people who were looked after from August 2014 to July 2015 and who left school during 2014/15. These looked after children represent less than one per cent of the 52,491 2014/15 school leavers.

The latter figures focus on rates of attendance and exclusions among all looked after children who were at publically-funded schools. The attendance figures are based on the 7,463 looked after school attendees that were successfully linked to the schools data, and similarly, the exclusions data are based on the 654 looked after school attendees who were linked to the schools data and also experienced an exclusion at some point during 2014/15.

In 2014/15 almost three quarters (73 per cent) of looked after school leavers were aged 16 and under (i.e. they left school at the earliest point they could) compared to over one quarter (27 per cent) of school leavers more generally.

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of children looked after for a full year who left school during or at the end of 2014/15 were in a positive destination three months after leaving school, compared with nine in ten (93 per cent) of all 2014/15 school leavers.

The attendance rate of looked after children is increasing steadily, and in 2014/15 is close to four percentage points higher than it was in 2009/10, and it is increasing in all stages for looked after children. Most of this increase is driven by the improvement in the attendance of looked after children in secondary school, which is almost eight percentage points higher. The overall rate is continuing to converge with the rate for all pupils, and the gap has reduced from six to two percentage points.

The rate of exclusions among looked after children is much higher than in the general school population (218 cases per 1,000 looked after pupils, compared to 27 per 1,000 in the general school population), and is falling at a similar rate. However, the absolute fall in the rates of exclusions for looked after children is much greater, but they are coming from a much worse position.