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The Educational Attainment of Looked After Children - Local Authority Pilot Projects: Final Research Report


APPENDIX 1. Summary of pilot project strands

Pilot Project

Strands in original proposal

Significant changes noted

Aberdeen City

1. Additional support for children looked after at home will build on existing family liaison work but will link in with designated teachers.

2. Additional support for two residential units, building on existing provision of LAC link teacher, designated teachers, LAC nurse and LAC counselling staff.

3. IT for looked after children based on learning programme for travelling children.

Strand 3 did not progress.

Dumfries and Galloway

1. Appoint a project officer.

2. Developing My Learning Plan.

3. Piloting the effectiveness of intervention models (e.g. education key working).

4. Staff training.

5. Reducing barriers to learning through individuals' applications to a fund.

Dundee City

1. Study support and tutoring, aimed at young people taking Standard Grade and National Qualifications.

2. Outreach activities for children and young people in residential units.

3. Support and training for parents and carers.

Pilot evolved to include a nurture group for pupils failing to attain, literacy and self-esteem for a group of young women, and improvements to data collection. Strand 3 became multi-agency training using Learning with Care materials.

East Ayrshire

Develop computer assisted learning materials. Provide supported study package, associated training, staff development, support for carers, and allied support materials.

East Lothian

1. Providing individual support to pupils (with priority to those who are excluded) through holistic support and intervention packages.

2. Support for parents and carers.

3. Identify 'what works' through an evaluation and training programme.


Team of learning assistants to work closely with group of P 7 looked after children in a transition programme. Learning assistants will work with primary and secondary school staff, social workers, support workers, parents and carers. Support: group and individual work, in-class, out of school. Enhance whole-school approach to looked after pupils in six target high schools and associated primaries providing enhanced training opportunities.


1. Identify educational needs of looked after young people in crisis care and build on existing good practice and positive working relationships. Develop educational programmes which deliver in the key areas of literacy, numeracy and personal/social development and which cover a broad and balanced curriculum as defined in the 5-14 guidelines or qualifications such as Standard Grade, Access 1,2,3 or ASDAN modules.

2. Offer a specific service for young people accommodated in placements outwith the Falkirk Council area: quality assurance role - visiting the schools, talking to the young people about their education, looking at what's being offered, and giving guidance and advice to the schools about options.


1. Develop data systems for tracking the education of looked after children.

2. Enhance planning and monitoring by developing existing personal planning model.

3. Provide enhanced educational support at key transitional stages (particularly at point of entry).


1. Expansion of existing tutorial support to children looked after at home.

2. 'Flexible Education Support Scheme' focussing on educational achievement.

3. Guidance leaflets for parents, carers and social work staff on Services to support education; attendance; attainment; English folios; ESPs; and, exclusions.

Strand 3 did not progress.


1. Home education link worker for children looked after at home.

2. Teaching base, in partnership with Highland Football Academy which facilitates re-engagement into fulltime education and assists in development of positive patterns of attendance and personal development.

3. Educational achievement facilitator to work with residential units and staff.

4. Out of school study support programme.


1. Better learning opportunities in residential units.

2. Developing an inclusive tutoring service.

3. Mentoring for young people.

Strand 3 did not progress.

North Ayrshire

New Futures Project: Individual tutoring and behavioural support with regards to curricular courses and providing alternative curricular routes to re-engage the young person.


1. Support for children looked after at home at an early stage to focus on developing core skills, work with staff in pre-5 centres: behaviour support, work with parents.

2. Support for looked after children and parents/carers to engage in educational process, enable looked after children to identify and achieve goals and to provide family learning opportunities.

3. Enhance life experience and opportunities for children in residential units by attending cultural and sporting activities.

South Ayrshire

1. Consult with looked after children, school staff, parents, carers to develop, pilot and evaluate child-friendly Personal Education Plans.

2. Work with carers and parents, developing or maintaining a care environment that promotes and celebrates learning. Use of HGIOS. Focus on equipping adults to promote learning.

South Lanarkshire

1. Literacy: centres on story-telling initiative in four residential units with help of Children 1st and literacy co-ordinators in the units.

2. Reducing exclusion: involves the development of packs for home-school link teachers when child is excluded from school.

3. Hardware and educational software in children's units.

4. Delivery of Learning with Care Training.


Individually tailored educational interventions for looked after children who have experienced a sustained period of disengagement from mainstream education. In addition to an academic curriculum, flexible packages of support may include voluntary work, ASDAN, outdoor education, PSE, careers advice and art work. Stirling expects improved levels of achievement & attainment at 16, reduced numbers in NEET and/or offending.

West Dunbartonshire

1. Improve the coordination and analysis of available assessment information for all children in residential care and where necessary carry out a detailed educational assessment.

2. Work with parents of looked after children, to increase their involvement in child's education, improving confidence in supporting child's education.

3. Tackling high exclusion rates for looked after children by promoting 'alternatives to exclusion'.

West Lothian

1. Promotion of nurture groups in an education setting, targeting two schools with significant numbers of looked after children.

2. Developing flexible curricula for young people: one pilot secondary school to promote full time education, further education, employment and training.

3. Development of a buddy scheme where older looked after children support other looked after children as they enter secondary school.

4. Extension of an existing programme, Physical Activity for Confidence and Esteem, run in collaboration with Leisure Services to encourage young people to use sports and leisure facilities.

Strand 3 changed to become an issues forum.