Publication - Statistics publication

Education outcomes for looked after children: 2014-2015

Published: 22 Jun 2016

This publication links school and social work data to present information on the attainment, post-school destinations of looked after young people who leave school, and the school attendance and exclusion rates of all looked after children.

38 page PDF

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38 page PDF

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Education outcomes for looked after children: 2014-2015
School Attendance

38 page PDF

1.0 MB

School Attendance

School Attendance

This section presents data on the school attendance of looked after young people who were at publically-funded schools, comparing overall attendees with the 7,463 looked after children who were linked to the schools data. Attendance data is now only collected every two years, so the information for 2011/12 and 2013/14 is not available.

Chart 4 Percentage attendance of all pupils and looked after young people, 2009/10 to 2014/15

Chart 4 Percentage attendance of all pupils and looked after young people, 2009/10 to 2014/15

The school attendance of all pupils is recorded individually. Overall attendance is over 90 per cent for all pupils, although this is higher in primary schools than it is for secondary and special schools. Looked after young people consistently have lower school attendance than average, although the figure continues to improve for those looked after for the full year.


Table 3.1: Percentage attendance of all pupils and looked after young people by stage, 2009/10 to 2014/15 (1),(2)

2009/10 2010/11 2012/13 2014/15
Stage Looked after pupils
Primary 93.4 93.6 94.6 95.2
Secondary 80.5 82.8 86.7 88.1
Special 84.6 83.0 85.4 87.6
Scotland 87.7 88.6 90.8 91.6
Stage All pupils
Primary 94.9 94.8 94.9 95.1
Secondary 91.2 91.1 91.9 91.8
Special 90.6 90.0 90.5 90.7
Scotland 93.2 93.1 93.6 93.7

(1) Due to improvements outlined in background note 3.2, historical data has been updated.

(2) From 2010/11, data only collected biennially.

The attendance rate of looked after children is increasing steadily, and in 2014/15 is close to four percentage points higher than it was in 2009/10, and it is increasing in all stages for looked after children. Most of this increase is driven by the improvement in the attendance of looked after children in secondary school, which is almost eight percentage points higher. The overall rate is continuing to converge with the rate for all pupils, and the gap has reduced from six to two percentage points.

Accommodation type and gender

The highest rates of attendance are seen in children in residential schools, as may be expected, but numbers at these schools are small, and therefore the figures are likely to be variable. Of the larger categories of accommodation, both foster care types record attendance of greater than 96 per cent - a higher rate than for children overall (94 per cent). The lowest rates are found amongst children looked after at home, and of those in a residential setting, those in local authority homes have the worst attendance.

For children looked after there is little gender difference in rates of attendance. Bigger differences are seen for those young people in residential accommodation, but numbers in these settings are relatively small, and differences should therefore be treated with caution.

Table 3.2: Percentage attendance for looked after children by accommodation type and gender, 2014/15

Accommodation type Girls Boys Total
In the community
At home with parents 82.1 81.4 81.7
With friends/relatives 93.0 93.0 93.0
With foster carers provided by LA 96.5 96.6 96.5
With foster carers purchased by LA 96.9 96.7 96.8
In other community (1) * 97.2 97.2
Residential Accommodation
In local authority home 83.2 87.0 85.2
In voluntary home 85.8 90.1 88.9
In residential school * 98.9 99.0
In other residential (2) 93.7 92.6 93.1
Unknown/Multiple placements 89.1 90.5 89.8
Total looked after children 91.5 91.7 91.6

(1) Includes 'with prospective adopters'.

(2) Includes 'in secure care accommodation', and 'crisis care'.

Number of looked after placements

The overall number of placements experienced by looked after children generally supports the view that children who experience more placements have lower attendance rates. Attendance rates are highest (92 per cent) among pupils who have been looked after for all of 2014/15 in one placement, although there is an exception where children with five or more placements have better attendance than those children who had three or four placements in the year. This may be a function of the relatively small numbers in this group.

Table 3.3: Percentage attendance for looked after children, by number of placements and gender, 2014/15

Number of Placements Girls Boys Total
1 92.0 91.9 92.0
2 90.2 91.3 90.8
3 86.6 88.6 87.6
4 86.6 87.8 87.1
5 or more 87.9 89.8 88.5
Total looked after full year 91.5 91.7 91.6