Looked-after children continue to face significant disadvantages
in education, according to statistics from the Department for
Education and Skills.
Despite public service agreement targets to improve their
educational attainment and participation, children in care still
lag behind their peers.
Forty-seven per cent of children in year 11 who had been looked
after continuously for at least 12 months did not achieve a single
GCSE or equivalent exam, compared with only 5 per cent of all year
11 students. Fewer than one in 10 looked-after children attained
five GCSE or equivalent passes at grade A-C.
Forty-three 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
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 with 3 per cent of all children.