New analysis shows disparity in statistics collected about disabled children in Scotland

Year: 2024
Topic: Disability
Author: Dr Alex McTier

This analysis assesses the quality of the disabled children’s statistical data that is reported across Scotland’s children’s services, bringing it together for the first time, and compares this to UK and international data. 

The review also specifically considered how visible disabled children are in Scotland’s children’s care and protection data. While disabled children have been found to be at increased risk of harm, abuse and neglect compared to their non-disabled peers, this increased risk is not reflected in Scotland’s child protection and ‘looked after’ children statistics. The review looked at information captured across Scotland’s children’s services collections from early learning and childcare statistics to college and university student statistics to see if this discrepancy could be better understood. The review found that definitional issues, allied to the perceived need for an assessment of disability from health practitioners, have contributed to an apparent under-recording of disability among Scotland’s children in need of care and protection.

Read the analysis