Department of Education

Research projects

Educational Attainment and Progress of Children in Need and Children in Care

The educational attainment of children in care is generally lower than other pupils. Our previous research (2015) examined this problem quantitatively, by looking at all pupils in England who took their GCSEs in 2013, and qualitatively, by interviewing young people in care about their educational experiences. This current project builds on our previous research.

The research team uses a mixed methods approach. Quantitative analysis is  used to track the care and educational histories of a group of children in England who began key stage 1 (started school) in 2006-2007 through to key stage 4 GCSEs in 2016-2017. To do this, we use the National Pupil Database (NPD) and annual datasets on children in need and children in care. Interviews are also conducted with children in care and children in need, their parents/carers, social workers and teachers, and Virtual School Heads to allow us to understand how children and families experience barriers and enablers to educational progress.

External project members include, Professor David Berridge (PI, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol) and Dr Eleanor Staples (Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol).


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Research Team

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