The Educational Attainment of Looked After Children - Local Authority Pilot Projects: Final Research Report

DescriptionThe broad aim of the research was to identify interventions that appeared to make the most differences in terms of both the educational experience and the educational outcomes of the looked after children and young people participating in the pilot projects.
ISBN978 0 7559 7233
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateOctober 20, 2008


University of Strathclyde

ISBN 978 0 7559 7233 3 (Web only publication)

This document is also available in pdf format (708k)
This report is also accompanied by EALAC research findings 41/2008.



2Executive Summary
2.1 Background
2.2 Research aims and objectives
2.3 Key Findings

3 Introduction
3.1 Background
3.2 Aim and Research Questions
3.3 Research Approach
3.4 Report Structure

4 The Education of Looked After Children & Young People
4.1 Introduction
4.2 The Legal Context
4.3 The Policy Context
4.4 Previous Research
4.5 Summary

5 The Pilot Projects
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Characteristics of the pilots
5.3 Successes, difficulties and sustainability
5.4 Summary

6 Impact of the Pilots: Qualitative Research
6.1 Introduction and methodology
6.2 Perspectives of the professionals
6.3 Perspectives of the young people and their parents or carers
6.4 Conclusions

7 Impact of the Pilots - Quantitative Research
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Methodology
7.3 Data collection issues
7.4 Description of the study population
7.5 The impact of the pilot projects
7.6 Conclusions

8 Lessons from the Pilots
8.1 Introduction
8.2 The impact of the pilot projects
8.3 Organisational aspects
8.4 Management and staffing
8.5 Communication
8.6 Summary

9 Conclusions
9.2 The key findings
9.3 Concluding comments


APPENDIX 1. Summary of pilot project strands

APPENDIX 2. Summaries of the 18 pilot projects
Appendix 2.1. Aberdeen City
Appendix 2.2. Dumfries and Galloway
Appendix 2.3. Dundee City
Appendix 2.4. East Ayrshire
Appendix 2.5. East Lothian
Appendix 2.6. Edinburgh City
Appendix 2.7. Falkirk
Appendix 2.8. Fife
Appendix 2.9. Glasgow City
Appendix 2.10. Highland
Appendix 2.11. Midlothian
Appendix 2.12. North Ayrshire
Appendix 2.13. Renfrewshire
Appendix 2.14. South Ayrshire
Appendix 2.15. South Lanarkshire
Appendix 2.16. Stirling
Appendix 2.17. West Dunbartonshire
Appendix 2.18. West Lothian

APPENDIX 3. Pilots related to five intervention types

APPENDIX 4. Additional data tables

Index of Tables
Table 1: Fieldwork interviews by pilot authority and category of interviewee
Table 2: Age and stage of participants for each pilot in matched data set
Table 3: Care category of participants in each pilot
Table 4: Attendance and exclusion
Table 5: Number of times excluded
Table 6: Tariff points for National Qualifications
Table 7: Reported level of involvement in pilot project activities
Table 8: Scores on scales of the SDQ Table 9: Proportions in each category of need by SDQ scale
Table 10: Harter: Do the difficulties interfere with your everyday life?
Table 11: Mean scores on scales of Harter by gender
Table 12: Attendance and exclusion by gender 2006-07
Table 13: Attendance and exclusions in 2005-06 and 2006-07
Table 14: Exclusion rates for nine pilot authorities
Table 15: 5-14 National Assessment Data: Reading, Writing and Mathematics
Table 16: 5-15 National Assessment Levels at ages 5-8
Table 17: 5-14 National Assessment Levels at ages 9-10
Table 18: 5-14 National Assessment Levels at ages 11-12
Table 19: 5-14 National Assessment Levels at ages 13-14
Table 20: 5-14 National Assessment data, Scotland 2003
Table 21: Changes in mean attainment levels in 5-14 National Assessments
Table 22: Factors correlating with attainment in Standard Grade and National Qualifications
Table 23: Characteristics of 109 young people: Tariff scores
Table 24: Factors correlating with attainment in Standard Grade and National Qualifications - multiple regression model

The views expressed in the report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the

Scottish Government or any other organisations by which the authors are employed.

The Scottish Government is making this research report available on-line in order to provide access to its contents for those interested in the subject. The Scottish Government commissioned the research but has not exercised editorial control over the report.

This report is published by Education Analytical Services Division, Scottish Government Education Directorate, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ. If you have any enquiries about these reports please contact the Dissemination Officer on 0131-244-0894.

Limited extracts from the text may be produced provided the source is acknowledged. For more extensive reproduction, please write to, the Chief Researcher at Office of Chief Researcher, 4th Floor West Rear, St Andrew's House, Edinburgh EH1 3DG

This report is available on the Scottish Government Social Research website only