Young people in care failed by the education system

Over three-quarters of young people in care in the UK leave school with no GCSEs or other educational qualifications, according to a report published today.

Just one in eleven achieve five or more GSCEs at grades A-C, and are more likely than other young people to be bullied at school, the report by Barnardo’s Scotland found.

A survey of 66 young people aged 16 to 21 currently supported by Barnardo’s leaving care services also found that care placements and home moves disrupted their education. Six per cent of young people had more than 24 placements, while half had been in more than four placements. Young people in care attended between five and more than 10 different schools.

Almost half of young people said no-one had attended their school parent’s evenings or other school events such as sports days, the report said.

Hugh Mackintosh, Director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “The cycle of disadvantage that haunts these children as they grow up shows no sign of being broken as they enter adulthood. Our report shows that many looked after children have both academic potential and the desire to work hard, and would have liked to succeed in education but the state, as a parent, fails them terribly. Dreadful exam results compound the disadvantages they face and commit them to unemployment and long term disadvantage.”

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