Publication - Statistics

Looked after children: education outcomes 2018-2019

Published: 1 Sep 2020
From:
Deputy First Minister
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Children and families, Education, Statistics
ISBN:
9781800040151

Information on attainment and destinations of school leavers, school attendance and absence, and achievement of curriculum for excellence levels for looked after children in Scotland.

39 page PDF

1.1 MB

39 page PDF

1.1 MB

Contents
Looked after children: education outcomes 2018-2019
Post-school destinations

39 page PDF

1.1 MB

Post-school destinations

  • Looked after school leavers are less likely to go to positive destinations than school leavers in general, especially higher education
  • The percentage of looked after leavers in positive initial and follow-up destinations has increased over the last six years

This section presents data on the destinations of the estimated 1,031 young people who were looked after during the period 1 August 2018 to 31 July 2019 and who left school during 2018/19. Information is collected on the destination of school leavers in the September after they leave school (initial destination) and again the following March (follow-up destination). School leavers who are engaged in higher education, further education, training, voluntary work, employment or are undertaking personal skills development[1] are classified as having a 'positive destination'. Other destinations include school leavers who are unemployed and individuals where their destination is not known. For more information on school leaver destination categories, see background note 4.8. 

Initial destinations

A lower proportion of looked after children enter positive destinations than all school leavers, but this gap has narrowed since 2012/13. The lower proportion of looked after children going into positive destinations is likely to be related to looked after young people tending to leave school at an earlier stage to all pupils. 81% of young people looked after within the last year went on to a positive destination after leaving school, compared with 95% of all school leavers in 2018/19 (Table 2.1). The gap of 14 percentage points between all school leavers those who were looked after in 2018/19 has narrowed from a gap of 21 percentage points in 2012/13, when 71% of looked after scool leavers were in a positive initial destination, compared with 92% of all school leavers.

48% of school leavers who were looked after within the last year were in either Higher or Further Education 3 months after leaving school. In comparison, more than two thirds (68%) of all school leavers were in Further or Higher Education (Table 2.1). The lower proportion of looked after young people entering Higher Education can be partly explained by leaving school at an earlier stage and consequent lower levels of qualifications.

Table 2.1: Percentage of all school leavers and those who were looked after by initial destination (3 months after leaving school), 2018/19

 

School leavers looked after within the last year All school leavers
Higher Education 5 40
Further Education 43 27
Training 16 3
Employment 14 23
Voluntary Work 1 1
Personal Skills Development(2) 3 0
Unemployed Seeking 11 3
Unemployed Not Seeking 6 1
Unknown 1 0
% in a positive destination(1) 81 95

(1) Positive destinations includes higher education, further education, training, voluntary work, employment and personal skills development.
(2) There has been a change to the way in which Personal Skills Development activity is categorised in these statistics. For more information see the background notes section 3.7.

Follow-up destinations

From 2009/10 to 2013/14, the percentage of looked after school leavers in positive follow-up destinations increased rapidly from 42% to 66%, then stabilised for three years, before increasing to 72% in 2016/17; over the last three years, the percentage of leavers looked after within the year in follow-up destinations has remained broadly stable. Over the same time period, the proportion of all school leavers has remained higher but increased more gradually, from 86% in 2009/10 to 92% in 2013/14 and 93% in each of the last three years. (Chart 3).

Chart 3: Percentage of all school leavers and those who were looked after in positive follow - up destinations, 2009/10 to 2018/19 (1) 
Since 2009/10 the percentage of looked after children in positive destinations has increased.

(1) All figures have been revised in 2018/19, due to the inclusion of personal skills development as a destination and to ensure that all years were calculated using the same method.

The positive initial destination is more likely to be sustained after nine months for all school leavers rather than for looked after leavers. In 2018/19, 71% of school leavers looked after within the last year were in a positive follow-up destination, down from 81% in a positive initial destination. The reduction is also present for all school leavers, but to a lesser extent (93% in a positive follow-up destination, down from 95% in positive initial destinations).

Table 2.2: Percentage of school leavers by follow-up destination (9 months after leaving school), for all school leavers and those who were looked after children, 2018/19 (1)

 

School leavers looked after within the last year All school leavers
Higher Education 5 38
Further Education 37 23
Training 10 2
Employment 16 28
Voluntary Work 1 0
Personal Skills Development(2) 2 0
Unemployed Seeking 13 3
Unemployed Not Seeking 11 2
Unknown 4 1
% in a positive destination(1) 71 93

(1) Positive destinations includes higher education, further education, training, voluntary work, employment and personal skills development.
(2) There has been a change to the way in which Personal Skills Development activity is categorised in these statistics. For more information see the publication background notes section 3.7.

Initial and follow-up destinations by type of accommodation

Table 2.3 shows the percentage of school leavers looked after within the last year in positive initial and follow-up destinations by placement type. Those in foster care placements had the highest proportion in positive initial and follow-up destinations, while young people who were looked after at home or had more than one placement had the lowest proportion in positive destinations. 

The largest decreases between the proportion in positive initial and follow-up destinations were seen in those young people in a local authority home, decreasing from 86% in a positive initial destination to 68% at follow-up, and young people with more than one placement, decreasing from 80% in a positive initial destination to 64% at follow-up. 

Table 2.3: Positive initial and follow-up destinations among school leavers looked after within the year, by placement type, 2018/19 (1)(2)
Initial survey Follow-up survey
Number % in a positive destination Number % in a positive destination
In the community (children with one placement)        
At home with parents 320 69 319 62
With friends or relatives 188 84 187 73
With foster carers provided by LA 143 97 141 87
With foster carers purchased by LA 73 97 73 90
In other community(3) * * * *
Residential Accommodation (children with one placement)        
In local authority home 91 86 91 68
In voluntary home * * * *
In other residential(4) 32 84 32 81
More than one placement 165 80 163 64
All looked after within the last year 1,031 81 1,025 71

(1) Some children who were included in the initial destination survey could not be contacted at the time of the follow up destination survey. This is why the total number of children in each survey differs.
(2) Cells containing * represent small numbers that have been suppressed to maintain confidentiality.
(3) Includes supported accommodation and with prospective adopters.
(4) Includes in residential school, secure care accommodation and crisis care.


Contact

Email: children.statistics@gov.scot