Official statistics show that looked after children, particularly children who are looked after at home, have much lower school attainment on average than all children in Scotland. A very high proportion of looked after children leave school at the earliest possible opportunity, with few qualifications and limited access to the kinds of positive destinations enjoyed by many other school leavers.
Education is critical in this modern, digital world. And one of our key goals is to play a big part in narrowing the educational outcomes gap for all looked after children. We will do this by improving their experience of education, from pre-school to university.
We believe in building on the rich capacities, skills and aspirations of all looked after children. We work with teachers, carers and other professionals to ensure that every child receives the high quality and well-rounded education they deserve. This way, we will close the gap completely.
We believe that by working together in partnerships across all sectors, we can create environments where looked after children will begin to feel more settled, motivated and resilient. This, in turn, will result in better attendance at school, improved levels of educational outcome, and better life chances.
We provide innovative training and consultancy services, and encourage collaborative working between areas such as health, education and social work. In doing so, we play an important role in raising awareness and understanding of the issues being faced by looked after children - issues which may present barriers to learning, and prevent these young people from enjoying positive experiences at school.
We also work with others to keep widening access high on the political agenda. Through our work with local and national government, the care sector, and colleges and universities, we're aiming for a marked increase in the numbers of looked after school leavers entering further and higher education.