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Education outcomes for looked after children: 2016 to 2017

Data on attainment, post-school destinations, school attendance, school exclusions and achievement of curriculum for excellence attainment levels.

This document is part of a collection


Introduction

Local authorities have a responsibility to provide support to a group of vulnerable young people, known as 'looked after children'. A young person may become looked after for a number of reasons, including neglect, abuse, complex disabilities which require specialist care, or involvement in the youth justice system.

This publication links school and social work data to present information on school leaver attainment and the post-school destinations of looked after young people who left school in 2016/17. This year it includes the school attendance and exclusion rates of all looked after children. The school attendance and exclusion rates of all looked after children are only included every other year, and will next be collected in 2018/19 and reported in 2020.

This publication also includes experimental statistics on achievement of Curriculum for Excellence levels for looked after children and young people, on which data was published for the wider school population in December 2017.

Who are counted in these figures?

This publication reports on the education outcomes of school-age children who were looked after in Scotland at any point between August 2016 to July 2017 and had a recorded Scottish Candidate Number available.

The first two chapters of this publication give information on the education outcomes and post-school destinations of 968 young people who were looked after at any point between August 2016 to July 2017 and who were in the 2016/17 school leaver cohort. These looked after children represent less than two per cent of the 51,300 2016/17 school leavers. The third chapter focuses on rates of attendance and exclusions among looked after children who were at publically-funded schools. The attendance figures are based on the 10,583 looked after school attendees that were successfully linked to the schools data. Similarly, the exclusions data are based on the 1,019 looked after school attendees who were linked to the schools data and also experienced an exclusion at some point during 2016/17. The final two chapters focus on the achievement of Curriculum for Excellence levels across four year groups of 3,143 young people who were looked after at some point during 2016/17.

The figures presented here are a subset of the population of looked after children in Scotland. This is because the data on looked after children needs to be linked to schools data from publically-funded schools. Not all looked after children can be successfully linked to the schools data for a variety of reasons. For successful linking to occur, the Scottish Candidate Number of the child is needed to obtain data on their education outcomes. A Scottish Candidate Number is usually assigned to a child when they begin school. Therefore looked after children of pre-school age are excluded from the analysis presented in this publication. Some school-age looked after children also have missing Scottish Candidate Numbers in the data provided to Scottish Government by local authorities. Therefore, these children are also excluded from the figures. More information on this is available in the background notes.

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