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.
This chapter is from the book Education in Out-of-Home Care.