Looked After Children more likely to be excluded from school
The Department for Education recently released some figures that may or may not surprise you. According to their statistics, looked after children are five times more likely to be temporarily excluded from school than pupils overall.
The statistics show that 11.44% of looked after children had at least one fixed exclusion in 2016, compared with just 2.11% of all children. What is perhaps more worrying, is that both of these figures had risen since the previous year, suggesting that fixed period exclusions are on the up.
The permanent exclusion rate has, however, dropped, with the permanent exclusion of looked-after children down to its lowest rate in five years.
Whilst these figures tell us about the behaviour of children at school, we have to dig a little deeper to compare the academic performance of looked after children against children in general.
Academic performance of looked after children
These new figures show that less than a third of looked after children left primary school having met the expected standards in maths, reading and writing. This compares to 61% of children overall. However, these figures are not as damning as first perceived when you consider that when SEN pupils are removed from the equation, 57% of looked after children are meeting their expected targets.
This is important because a higher percentage of looked after children have a Special Educational Need (SEN), so this needs to be taken into account when understanding the figures in context. Also, it is worth pointing out that non-SEN looked after children and those with SEN support make better or equal progress in primary reading, writing and maths than their non-looked after peers.
What happens to looked after children beyond primary school?
Even when we take into account the impact of SEN, looked after children generally make less progress than non-looked after children in secondary school. Just 17.5% achieve grade 4 GCSE performance in English and maths, compared to 58.9% of secondary pupils overall.
How can Contact Group help monitor looked after children’s performance?
Our Looked After Call product monitors looked after children’s attendance and progress, using secure methods and automatic processes to collect and store information. Schools and local authorities who adopt the system can save time and money on manual reporting and ensure that data is encrypted using the highest levels of security – an all-important consideration with the new data protection laws due to come into force in May this year.
Outcomes for children looked after by LAs: 31 March 2017, Department for Education