Linking care and educational data: the educational progress of looked after children in England

First major study in the UK to explore the relationship between educational outcomes, young people’s care histories and individual characteristics by linking the National Pupil Database (NPD) and the Children Looked After Database in England, for all pupils eligible to take their GCSEs (examinations at age 16 years) in 2013. Scroll down for key findings.

The main analysis concentrated on the progress at secondary school (Key Stages 2-4) of those who had been in care for over a year. These pupils were compared with children in need (receiving social work support while living at home) and pupils not in need or in care. Detailed statistical analysis was undertaken including multiple regression, multi-level modelling and path analysis. This was complemented by interviews with 26 young people, 18 of their carers, 20 designated teachers, 17 social workers and six Virtual School Headteachers.

Research Team

This was a joint research project between the University of Bristol and the Rees Centre.
Professor Judy Sebba

Professor David Berridge

Professor Steve Strand

Professor Sally Thomas

Dr Nikki Luke

Dr John Fletcher

Dr Karen Bell

Professor Ian Sinclair

Dr Aoife O’Higgins

Key Findings

See below for further details and reports.

  • Key Findings

  • Overview Report

  • Technical Reports

  • Additional Resources