Publication - Statistics

Education outcomes for Scotland's looked after children, 2011/12

Published: 25 Jun 2013
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781782566687

Leaver destinations and average tariff scores of Scotland's Looked after children who left school during the academic year 2011-12. Also includes analysis from a longitudinal dataset of looked after children between 2008-2012.

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Contents
Education outcomes for Scotland's looked after children, 2011/12
Educational attainment

Educational attainment

visual representation of the information contained in this section

This section presents data on the educational attainment of young people who were looked after continuously between August 2011 and July 2012 and who left school during the academic year 2011/12.

Age when leaving school

Looked after children tend to have lower levels of educational attainment than non-looked after children. These differences are, in part, linked to the fact that looked after children tend to leave school at younger ages than non-looked after children. As Table 1.1 shows, in 2011/12 almost eight in ten (79 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 30 per cent of school leavers more generally. The number of looked after children staying on at school over the age of 16 has increased, (from 12 per cent in 2010/11 to 21 per cent in 2011/12). If this trend continues then we would expect a corresponding increase in the qualifications and positive post-school destinations of looked after young people in future years.

Table 1.1: Age of all school leavers and those who were looked after children, 2010/11 to 2011/12

Age at 30 June

Looked after children

All school leavers

2010/11

2011/12

2010/11

2011/12

Percentage

16 and under

88

79

34

30

17

11

17

44

45

18 and over

1

4

22

25

Number

16 and under

415

306

18,312

15,405

17

51

67

23,526

22,806

18 and over

6

15

11,880

12,454

Scotland

472

388

53,718

50,665

Average tariff scores

As schools and colleges in Scotland offer different types of qualifications which are not directly comparable a system of Tariff Scores is used to measure attainment. Each grade in each type of qualification is assigned a number of points - from 120 points for a grade A at an Advanced Higher, to 1 point for an Access 2 unit. The tariff score for a young person is the sum of points for each of the qualifications they hold. The higher the tariff score, the higher the overall level of qualification.

Chart 1: Average tariff scores of looked after children against all school leavers, 2009/10 to 2011/12

Chart 1: Average tariff scores of looked after children against all school leavers, 2009/10 to 2011/12

As can be seen in Chart 1, looked after children obtain lower levels of qualification on average than school leavers, but looked after children's attainment has improved slightly over the last three years. In 2011/12 the average tariff score among looked after children was 106 compared to 406 among all school leavers.

Table 1.2: Average tariff scores of all school leavers and those who were looked after children, by age, 2009/10 to 2011/12

Age at 30 June

Looked after children

All school leavers

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

16 and under

51

57

63

141

145

149

17

198

226

255

489

491

498

18 and over

316

359

310

547

544

556

Scotland

67

79

106

372

385

406

Educational outcomes among looked after children have improved over the last three years. Since 2009/10 the average tariff score for looked after children has increased by 39 tariff score points, a fairly similar increase to that seen among all school leavers (34 tariff score points).

When a young person is looked after there are a number of types of residence they could be placed in, including at home (where a child is subject to a Supervision Requirement and continues to live in their normal place of residence), foster care, residential unit or school, a secure unit or a kinship care placement (where they are placed with friends or relatives).

Table 1.3: Average tariff scores of looked after children who spent the entire academic year in a single placement and who left school during 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12, by the accommodation type of that placement(1)

Average tariff score

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

In the community

At home with parents

32

35

40

With friends/relatives

87

97

164

With foster carers provided by LA

160

176

199

With foster carers purchased by LA

103

145

147

In other community(2)

*

-

*

Residential Accommodation

In local authority home

66

49

82

In voluntary home

100

*

90

In other residential(3)

53

79

71

Average tariff score of those single placement during year

68

86

116

Number of young people

Total number

395

370

310

(1) Cells containing * represent small numbers that have been suppressed to maintain confidentiality
(2) Includes 'with prospective adopters'
(3) Includes 'in residential school', 'in secure care accommodation', and 'crisis care'

Educational attainment varies across the types of accommodation in which looked after children are placed. Of looked after young people who left school during 2011/12, average tariff scores were highest for young people who were looked after by foster carers provided by the local authority (with an average score of 199) and lowest, for young people who were looked after at home (with an average school of 40) for the entire school year. This is consistent with previous years, although the average tariff scores have increased for all groups except other residential accommodation, as Table 1.3 shows. The biggest increase among the placements types has been for children placed with friends and relatives, which has increased by 67 tariff score points from 2010/11. Although it is worth noting the small number of children in this group.

Over the last three years the overall attainment of looked after young people has increased, but this increase is driven by young people who had one or two placements during the previous year. The average tariff scores for young people with three or more placements are lower in 2011/12 than 2009/10. Since 2009/10 the average tariff score for young people who had one placement during the year has increased by 48 tariff points (to an average of 116) and for young people who had two placements has increased by 15 tariff points (to an average of 82) in 2011/12. However for children who had three or more placements, attainment has decreased over the last three years. The average tariff score for children who had three placements during the academic year has decreased by 18 points since 2009/10. Likewise for children who had four or more placements during the academic year, the average tariff score has fallen from 41 points in 2009/10 to 33 points in 2011/12 (Table 1.4).

Table 1.4: Average tariff scores of looked after young people by number of placements during the academic year, 2009/10 to 2011/12

Number of placements

Average Tariff Score

Number of young people 2011/12

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

1

68

86

116

310

2

67

60

82

15

3

57

48

39

16

4 or more

41

42

33

17

Scotland

67

79

106

388

Cross-UK comparisons

The improvements seen in the proportion of looked after children in Scotland achieving qualifications over the last three years mirrors the general trend across the UK. Because of differences in the education systems between Scotland and the rest of the UK (and in the ages at which looked after children's qualifications are measured) it is not possible to directly compare qualification levels of looked after children. See background note 5.7 for further information.


Contact

Email: Kirsten Hilland