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.

This document is part of a collection


Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels (Experimental Statistics)

★ A lower proportion of looked after children achieve the Curriculum for Excellence ( CfE) level relevant to their stage compared with all children

↑ Achievement of CfE levels is lowest for those looked after at home and those looked after in residential accommodation

★ Achievement of CfE levels is lower for children looked after for part of the year than children looked after for the full school year.

This section presents data on the achievement of Curriculum for Excellence ( CfE) levels for aspects of literacy (reading, writing, and listening and talking) and numeracy of the 3,143 children and young people who were looked after at any point between 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2017, and who were in Primary 1, Primary 4, Primary 7 or Secondary 3 during the 2016/17 school year.

The achievement of CfE levels statistics are currently labelled "Experimental Statistics" as they are in the process of being developed and have been published to involve users and stakeholders in their development, and to build in quality and understanding at an early stage (see background notes for further information about these statistics). Achievement of CfE levels statistics for 2016/17 continue to be under development and are not directly comparable to the achievement of CfE levels statistics for 2015/16 published last year. For these reasons time series data are not available.

Scottish Candidate Numbers ( SCNs) provided by local authorities in the Looked After Children data return in 2016/17 were used to match pupils to their CfE data, along with month and year of birth and gender. There is variation in the provision of SCNs for looked after children across local authorities, particularly for children at the earlier stages of school, ranging from 20% to 100% (see Table 6.1 in background notes and the Excel tables published alongside this publication).

Due to this large variation in SCN coverage between local authorities, the analyses presented in this section may differ from the real picture, particularly if there are differences in the characteristics of the populations between local authorities, differences in the types of placements used by local authorities, and variation in the number of placements experienced by children in different local authorities. We are working to improve the reporting of SCNs in the Children Looked After in Scotland return and, as a consequence, improve the reliability of these statistics.

Therefore, caution should be applied when interpreting the results provided in this section, and the results this year should be seen as 'indicative' of how children who are looked after are generally achieving against CfE levels compared with all pupils.

The achievement of CfE levels data collection was introduced in the 2015/16 school year, and the information presented are based on teacher professional judgements as at June 2017.

Stage

Chart 6: Percentage of children achieving the CfE level relevant to their stage (1), by stage, 2016/17
Chart 6: Percentage of children achieving the CfE level relevant to their stage, by stage, 2016/17
(1) See background notes for information regarding the CfE levels relevant to a pupil's stage.

Across all stages, a lower proportion of children who are looked after (for the full school year or for part of the year) achieved the CfE level relevant to their stage compared with all pupils ( Chart 6). Generally, a slightly lower proportion of children who are looked after for part of the school year achieved the CfE level relevant to their stage compared with children who were looked after for the entire school year

The proportion of children looked after for the full year achieving the CfE level relevant for their stage is generally highest for listening and talking, and lowest for writing across all primary stages, similar to the national picture. Similarly, the proportion of children looked after for the full year achieving the CfE level relevant for their stage falls throughout the primary stages, but increases when looking at the percentage of S3 pupils achieving CfE 3 rd level or better. The gap between full-year and part-year looked after children's CfE achievement rates is smaller at primary stages and larger at S3.

Type of accommodation

Achievement of CfE levels varies across the types of accommodation in which looked after children are placed. Generally, a higher proportion of children looked after for the full year who live with foster carers or with friends/relatives are achieving the CfE level relevant to their stage, compared with children who are looked after at home or living in residential accommodation ( Table 5.1).

For children looked after for part of the year, generally the pattern is similar except that fewer children with foster parents purchased by the local authority achieved the relevant CfE levels. Children looked after in local authority homes performed better if they were looked after for part of the year than if they were looked after for the full year, though due to small numbers in this group this effect may not be significant ( Table 5.2).

Table 5.1: Percentage of Primary 1, Primary 4, Primary 7 and Secondary 3 children who were looked after for the full year achieving the CfE level relevant to their stage (1), by accommodation type, 2016/17 (2)

Accommodation type Reading Writing Listening & Talking Numeracy
In the community (children with one placement)
At home with parents 48.8 41.8 55.2 46.4
With friends or relatives 60.4 54.5 70.0 58.0
With foster carers provided by LA 57.2 52.0 65.0 52.9
With foster carers purchased by LA 58.9 51.0 62.0 52.5
In other community (3) * * * *
Residential Accommodation (children with one placement)
In local authority home 50.0 46.2 50.0 44.4
In voluntary home * * * 45.5
In other residential (4) 35.3 35.3 47.1 41.2
More than one placement 49.5 48.2 60.0 45.8
All looked after full year 55.0 49.7 63.0 51.4

(1) See background notes for information regarding the CfE levels relevant to a pupil's stage.
(2) Cells containing * represent small numbers that have been suppressed to maintain confidentiality.
(3) Includes with prospective adopters.
(4) Includes in voluntary home, residential school, secure care accommodation or crisis care.

Table 5.2: Percentage of Primary 1, Primary 4, Primary 7 and Secondary 3 children who were looked after for part of the year achieving the CfE level relevant to their stage (1), by accommodation type, 2016/17 (2)

Accommodation type Reading Writing Listening & Talking Numeracy
In the community (children with one placement)
At home with parents 50.8 45.0 56.4 43.4
With friends or relatives 53.0 46.8 61.8 52.8
With foster carers provided by LA 68.4 57.0 73.4 59.3
With foster carers purchased by LA 39.1 43.5 52.2 43.5
In other community (3) 83.3 83.3 83.3 *
Residential Accommodation (children with one placement)
In local authority home 62.1 55.2 55.2 58.6
In voluntary home * * * *
In other residential (4) 46.2 * 38.5 45.5
More than one placement 43.2 37.0 50.3 54.1
All looked after part year 51.8 45.6 57.8 48.7

(1) See background notes for information regarding the CfE levels relevant to a pupil's stage.
(2) Cells containing * represent small numbers that have been suppressed to maintain confidentiality.
(3) Includes with prospective adopters.
(4) Includes in voluntary home, residential school, secure care accommodation or crisis care.

Number of placements

By far the majority of children only experienced one placement during the school year 2016/17, with very few experiencing 4 or more placements. Taking this into account, tables 5.3 (children looked after for the full year) and 5.4 (children looked after for part of the year) broadly show a decrease in the percentage of children achieving the CfE level relevant to their stage with increased number of placements they experienced during the school year. However, due to the small numbers of children experiencing more than one placement, care should be taken when interpreting these figures.

Table 5.3: Percentage of Primary 1, Primary 4, Primary 7 and Secondary 3 children who were looked after for the full year achieving the CfE level relevant to their stage (1) by number of placements 2016/17

Number of placements Reading Writing Listening & Talking Numeracy
1 56.3 50.1 63.7 52.8
2 50.0 48.1 59.4 46.5
3 48.1 48.7 62.0 40.5
4 or more 48.0 48.0 60.0 53.9
All looked after full year 55.0 49.7 63.0 51.4

Table 5.4: Percentage of Primary 1, Primary 4, Primary 7 and Secondary 3 children who were looked after for part of the year achieving the CfE level relevant to their stage (1) by number of placements 2016/17

Number of placements Reading Writing Listening & Talking Numeracy
1 53.1 46.9 59.0 47.9
2 41.7 36.1 46.8 47.2
3 48.2 37.0 63.0 70.4
4 or more 45.5 45.5 54.6 76.9
All looked after part year 51.8 45.6 57.8 48.7

(1) See background notes for information regarding the CfE levels relevant to a pupil's stage.

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