Scottish Government
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Educational outcomes for looked after children

Scotland's Chief Statistician yesterday published Educational Outcomes for Scotland's Looked After Children, 2009-10. This new publication contains statistics obtained from linking, for the first time, looked after children's data provided by local authority social work services departments with educational data provided by publicly funded schools, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

It presents key findings on a range of educational outcome statistics for children or young people who have been looked after continuously during the 12-month period, in different types of care placements, and for pupils with multiple placements within the school year. These differing outcomes will partly be dependent on the characteristics of which children are placed where. This should be taken into account when looking at these initial findings, but these results should inspire further analysis and discussion in order to gain a more detailed understanding of the underlying causes of these results.

The main findings are:

  • The overall school attendance rate for looked after children was 87.8 per cent in 2009/10 compared with 93.2 per cent for all school children. School attendance rates were lowest for children who are looked after at home (78.7 per cent)
  • The overall exclusion rate for looked after children was 365 per 1,000 looked after children, compared with 45 exclusions per 1,000 pupils for all school children. Exclusion rates were highest for children who were looked after in a local authority home (866 per 1,000 children)
  • The average tariff score for looked after children who left school during 2009/10 was 67, compared to 372 for all school leavers. However, this comparison is influenced by the fact that around 90 per cent of looked after children who left school during 2009/10 were aged 16 years or under when they left school, compared to only 37 per cent of all school leavers being of this age when leaving school
  • Fifty-nine per cent of looked after children who left school during 2009/10 were in a positive destination at the time of the initial destination survey, compared with 87 per cent of all 2009/10 school leavers. However, by the time of the follow-up destination survey, the percentage of looked after children who left school during 2009/10 who were in a positive destination had fallen to 44 per cent, compared with 85 per cent of all 2009/10 school leavers

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