The Scottish Government published statistics on Educational Outcomes for Looked After Children 2013-14. The statistics show an improvement in looked after children’s levels of attainment and transition into positive destinations like employment, education or training:
- The proportion of looked after children gaining a qualification at SCQF level 4 or better (Standard Grade / Intermediate 1) has gone up by 7% since 2011/12. This reduces the gap between the attainment level of those who have experience of being in care and non-looked after children.
- The proportion of looked after children in positive destinations nine months after leaving school has also increased by 6%, from 67% to 73% in the last two years.
Ben Farrugia, Sector Engagement Lead said:
'This is good news. At CELCIS, we’re lucky enough to see the great work which has been going on across Scotland, led by teachers, educational psychologists, managers, politicians, mentors and carers, and we’re confident that the improvement reflected in these statistics is down to the commitment and hard work of those individuals.
'Although levels of qualification and positive destinations are still too low, the narrowing of the gap between looked after children and the national average is encouraging. I believe it’s a result of the increased attention paid to the education of looked after children over the last five years, at all levels of government and practice. But can you imagine what could be achieved if we had the level of attention, commitment and investment it merits? For there is still a long way to go before Scotland’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children enjoy the same opportunities to flourish as other children in our society.
'At CELCIS, we’re committed to playing a big part in helping to narrow the education gap further, while at the same time raising attainment and positive destinations for all. But success will continue to depend on the hard work of our partners across Scotland, who are determined to make ‘being looked after’ a positive intervention for children and families."
Finally, I welcome the changes to how the education statistics are calculated; as with all new methods we will need to wait and see if the trends shown are real, or just the result of the way the figures are worked out, but either way the changes strengthen the quality of the data, and in the long run that can only be a good thing.'