Information

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.

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School exclusions

  • ↓ Exclusion rates for looked after pupils continue to fall
  • ★ Looked after children are much more likely to be excluded from school than the general population of pupils

In comparison with the general school population, this section presents data on the numbers and rates of exclusions of the 1,019 looked after children at publically-funded schools who were successfully linked to schools data, and who experienced an exclusion. Exclusions data is collected every two years.

Table 4.1 shows the rate of exclusion cases. As children can be excluded more than once per year a single child may be counted more than once in these figures. The rate of exclusions among looked after children is much higher than in the general school population (169 cases per 1,000 pupils looked after for the full year, compared with 27 per 1,000 in the general school population). The fall in the rates of exclusions for looked after children is much greater than the fall in rates of exclusions for all pupils, meaning that the gap between these groups is narrowing.

Table 4.1: Exclusion case rate per 1,000 pupils by all pupils, looked after children and sector, 2009/10 to 2016/17

Sector 2009/10 2010/11 2012/13 2014/15 2016/17
Looked after full year
Primary 122 95 83 79 55
Secondary 632 584 476 322 259
Special 591 455 576 569 344
Scotland 360 321 279 218 169
Looked after part year
Primary 144 130 85 93 140
Secondary 740 594 491 521 431
Special 1,019 488 555 628 394
Scotland 490 370 296 315 292
All Pupils
Primary 12 11 10 9 11
Secondary 82 72 58 50 48
Special 174 148 148 126 94
Scotland 45 40 33 27 27

As seen in chart 5, looked after children are showing a continuing decline in the rate of exclusions and the gap to the exclusion rate in the overall population is narrowing for both children looked after for the full year and children looked after for part of the year.

Chart 5: Exclusion case rate per 1,000 pupils (for all pupils, children looked after for full year and children looked after for part of the year), 2009/10 - 2016/17
Chart 5: Exclusion case rate per 1,000 pupils (for all pupils, children looked after for full year and children looked after for part of the year), 2009/10 - 2016/17

Where Table 4.1 presents data on the rate of cases of exclusions, including potential multiple counts of the same child, Table 4.2 presents data on the total number of individual children excluded, resulting in lower figures. In all groups, the rate of children excluded is greater in secondary schools compared with primary schools.

Table 4.2: Number of pupils excluded and exclusion rate per 1,000 pupils by all pupils, looked after children and sector, 2016/17

Sector Number of pupils excluded Rate per 1,000 pupils
Looked after full year
Primary 101 31
Secondary 432 126
Special 51 142
Looked after part year
Primary 84 50
Secondary 335 190
Special 16 154
All Pupils
Primary 2,339 6
Secondary 8,122 29
Special 275 42

Accommodation type

As with attendance, there is a similar disparity in rates of exclusion according to type of accommodation. Those children in residential accommodation tend to have higher rates of exclusions than those looked after in the community. Children looked after at home have a noticeably higher exclusion rate than others looked after in the community (Table 4.3).

Table 4.3: Cases of exclusions for looked after children, by accommodation type, 2016/17 (1)

Looked after for the full year
Accommodation type Total exclusions for looked after children Exclusions per 1,000 pupils who were looked after
In the community (children with one placement)
At home with parents 280 237.7
With friends or relatives 242 138.3
With foster carers provided by LA 102 64.4
With foster carers purchased by LA 85 96.4
In other community (2) 0 0.0
Residential Accommodation (children with one placement)
In local authority home 67 408.5
In voluntary home 15 375.0
In other residential (3) 23 187.0
More than one placement 377 287.3
All looked after full year 1,191 169.0
Looked after for part of the year
In the community (children with one placement)
At home with parents 535 312.9
With friends or relatives 127 178.4
With foster carers provided by LA 59 211.5
With foster carers purchased by LA 15 147.1
In other community (2) * *
Residential Accommodation (children with one placement)
In local authority home 71 522.1
In voluntary home 15 600.0
In other residential (3) 38 506.7
More than one placement 172 361.3
All looked after part year 1,033 292.3

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

There is a tendency for looked after children with a greater number of placements to have a higher rate of exclusions ( Table 4.4) though the majority of children only had one placement. Children looked after for part of the year with more than one placement have a notably high rate of exclusions.

Table 4.4: Cases of exclusions for looked after children, by number of placements, 2016/17

Number of placements Total exclusions Exclusions per 1,000 pupils who were looked after
Looked after full year
1 814 142
2 274 284
3 74 294
4 8 145
5 or more 21 512
Scotland 1,191 169
Looked after part year
1 861 282
2 106 310
3 30 345
4 29 784
5 or more 7 700
Scotland 1,033 292

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