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The Educational Progress of Children in Out of Home Care in the UK

  • Julian GardinerEmail author
  • Chrissy Bolton
  • Alastair G. Sutcliffe
  • Edward Melhuish
Chapter
Part of the Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research book series (CHIR, volume 22)

Abstract

The educational performance of children in Out of Home Care (OHC) in the UK is lower than that of other children. This is largely attributable to the high levels of need of these children rather than to the effect of the OHC environment. A study of the educational progress of OHC children in England was carried out using data on 47,500 children. Educational attainment at ages 7, 11 and 16 was obtained by linking these children to the National Pupil Database. Their educational progress was analysed using Group Trajectory Analysis (GTA), a method which identifies groups of individuals whose outcomes show similar paths over time. GTA identified 5 trajectory groups: low achievement (15.9%), late improvement (7.0%), late decline (20.5%), predominant (43.3%), and high achievement (13.3%). Being taken into care earlier was associated with a higher probability of belonging to the high achievement trajectory group and a lower probability of belonging to the late decline group. For children taken into care aged 7–16, having a longer total time in care by age 16 was associated with a higher probability of belonging to the high achievement trajectory group. We discuss some interventions which may improve the educational attainment of OHC children.

Keyword

Out-of-home-care / educational outcomes / Group Trajectory Analysis / interventions / U.K. 

Abbreviations

BIC

Bayesian Information Criterion

CIN

Children In Need

GCSE

General Certificate of Secondary Education

GTA

Group Trajectory Analysis

KITS

Kids in Transition to School

KS1

Key Stage 1 (school years 1–2, children aged 5–6)

KS2

Key Stage 2 (school years 3–6, children aged 7–10)

KS3

Key Stage 3 (school years 7–9, children aged 11–14)

KS4

Key Stage 4 (school years 10–11, children aged 15–16)

LAs

Local Authorities

MTFC

Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care

OHC

Out of Home Care

OR

Odds Ratio

PS

Preschool

SENs

Special Educational Needs

TYCW

Teach Your Children Well

UK

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Gardiner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chrissy Bolton
    • 2
  • Alastair G. Sutcliffe
    • 3
  • Edward Melhuish
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Institute of Child HealthLondonUK
  3. 3.GAP UnitInstitute of Child HealthLondonUK

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