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

Latest publication – Education and Care, A resource for young people is based on interview findings from this study. We hope the resource will encourage children and young people to talk to their carers, social workers and teachers about their educational experiences.We would like to thank Oxfordshire County Council and the members of their Children in Care Council for their valuable feedback on an earlier version of this resource. The resource now reflects the amendments they suggested.

This study focused on children in England who had a social worker (whether living in Care or at home as a ‘Child in Need’) at some stage of their schooling. It looked for the factors associated with attainments at Key Stage 4 (16 years), and explored parents’, children’s and professionals’ views on the factors affecting educational progress for Children in Need and Children in Care. The research involved both statistical analysis of data from a whole birth cohort of children (471,688) born in England in 2000/01, starting school in 2006/07 and tracked through to their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exams in 2017 as well as interviews with 123 children, parents/carers, social workers, teachers and managers.

This is a joint project between the Rees Centre and the University of Bristol, led by Professor David Berridge at the University of Bristol and Dr Nikki Luke at the Rees Centre, University of Oxford.

The project has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation.


Former team member: Louise McGrath-Lone

  • Key Findings

  • Implications for Policy and Practice

  • Reports and Resources