Looked after children continue to face significant disadvantages
in education, according to statistics from the Department for
Education and Skills.
In spite of public service agreement targets to improve their
educational attainment and participation, children in care continue
to lag behind their peers.
47 per cent of children in year 11 who had been looked after
continuously for at least 12 months did not achieve a single GSCE
or equivalent exam, compared to only 5 per cent of all year 11
students. Less than one in ten looked after children attained five
GCSE or equivalent passes at grade A-C.
43 per cent of looked after children – a slightly higher
proportion than last year – did not even take a GCSE equivalent
exam in year 11. Government targets aim to reduce the proportion of
looked after children who reach school leaving age without taking a
GCSE equivalent to no more than 10 per cent by 2006.
Looked after children are almost nine times more likely to hold
a statement of special educational needs than their peers, as well
as being more likely to be permanently excluded from school.
The figures also showed that looked after children were three
times more likely to be cautioned or convicted of an offence.
Nearly 10 per cent of children aged 10 or over who had been looked
after for a year or more had been convicted or subject to a final
warning or reprimand, compared to 3 per cent of all children. The
target is for the proportion of children in care who are cautioned
or convicted to be reduced to 7.2 per cent and maintained.