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The Evaluation of Children's Hearings in Scotland: Volume 3 - Children in Focus

Annex 4

Grounds of referral by age for cohort children in 1995

Ground A: Contrary to the historical group of children (see Chapter Three), in which children aged 5 to 11 were referred most frequently, children aged 13, followed by 12 year olds, were referred more frequently on these grounds in 1995. Similar to the historical group, children under age 5 were the least frequent age group referred on these grounds.

Ground B: Children aged 5 to 11 were most likely to be referred on these grounds, followed by those aged 14 and 15. Children aged 16 or over were referred the least frequently under these grounds. For the historical group, 17 year olds were the most likely to be referred on ground B, though the numbers may be too small to be reliable. Otherwise the patterns were similar.

Ground C: Similar to the historical group of children, in 1995 children under 5 were much more likely to be referred on these grounds than were other age groups (32.5% of all referrals made for children under 5), followed by 5 to 11 year olds (13.7%). Only 0.4 to 4.2% of referrals from the other age groups were made under Ground C.

Ground D: Again similar to the historical group of children, children under 5 years of age were the most likely to be referred on these grounds (26.8% of referrals for that age group). 15.6% of referrals for 5 to 11 year olds were made under Ground D. Only 0.4 to 5.2% of referrals from the other age groups were made under Ground D.

Ground DD: As for the historical group, children under 5 were again the most likely group to be referred (8.8%), followed by those aged 5 to 11 (4%, compared to 0 to 1.4% of referrals for the other age groups).

Ground F: 12 year olds (compared to 12 and 13 year olds in the historical group) were the most likely to be referred for truancy (12.3% of 12 year olds in 1995), followed by 13 year olds (10.1%), then 14 year olds (9.6%).

Ground G: 69.7% of 15 year olds, 69.4% of 14 year olds, and 64.9% of 13 year olds were referred for offences in 1995. Over half of 12 year olds (64.6%) and children 16 or over (30.4%) had also been referred on these grounds. Children from younger age groups were decidedly less represented. This pattern was similar for the historical group, except that 14 year olds were highest, followed by 15 and 13 year olds, then 12 year olds.

The contrast between the historical group of children (Chapter Three) and the referrals made in 1995 under ground G probably best demonstrated the reason for any differences between these groups. The children in the 1995 group were for the most part the same as those in the historical group, but were now a year older (hence the greater likelihood of older children being more represented for certain grounds). Age patterns for referrals under grounds such as C, D, and DD were less likely to change because these grounds tended to involve younger children; every year this group of children will be joined or replaced by other young children.

Grounds of referral by age for cohort children in 1996

Ground A: Similar to the historical data (though contrary to 1995 findings, in which children aged 13, followed by 12 year olds were referred more frequently), children aged 5 to 11 were referred most frequently on these grounds during this time frame (followed by 13 year olds). Also similar to the historical data, children under age 5 were the least frequent age group referred on these grounds (as were those aged 12 and 16, all of whom had no referrals under ground A).

Ground B: Contrary to the historical data and to 1995 findings, referrals under ground B were not significantly related to age. This was most likely to be because of the small numbers of referrals made on these grounds (also the case in previous years).

Ground C: Similar to the historical data and to 1995 findings, children under 5 were much more likely to be referred on these grounds than were other age groups (7.6% of all referrals made for children under 5), followed by 5 to 11 year olds (5.6%). Only 0 to 0.3% of referrals from the other age groups were made under Ground C.

Ground D: In a slight contrast to the historical data and the results of 1995, in which children under 5 were the most likely to be referred on these grounds, most referrals for ground D were for 5 to 11 year olds (7.1%), followed by children under age 5 (6.4%). This is likely to reflect the ageing of the cohort. Only 0 to 4% of referrals from the other age groups were made under Ground D.

Ground DD: The only referrals made under ground DD (2) were for 5 to 11 year olds (1%) - statistically significant, but the numbers were too small to be reliable. The historical data and data from 1995 findings showed a higher proportion of children under 5 referred on these grounds, though those aged 5 to 11 were the next most common.

Ground F: 13 year olds (compared to 12 and 13 year olds in the historical data, and 12 year olds in Census 1) were the most likely to be referred for truancy (6.7% of this group), followed by 5 to 11 year olds (5.6%).

Ground G: In contrast to the historical data and data from 1995, which showed 14 and 15 year olds, followed by 13 year olds, with the highest proportion of referrals for offences, 12 year olds had the highest proportion of referrals for offences (73.3%). 68.8% of 15 year olds, 66.2% of 14 year olds, and 60.7% of 13 year olds had been referred for offences.

The contrast between the historical data and the 1995 data for referrals made under ground G probably best demonstrates the reason for any differences between these groups. Cohort children in 1995 were for the most part the same as those in the historical data, but were now a year older (hence the greater likelihood of older children being more represented for certain grounds). Age patterns for referrals under grounds such as C, D, and DD were less likely to change because these grounds tended to involve younger children; every year this group of children will be joined or replaced by other young children.