Browse/search for people

Publication - Professor David Berridge

    Children in care or in need

    educational progress at home and in care


    Sinclair, I, Luke, N & Berridge, D, 2019, ‘Children in care or in need: educational progress at home and in care’. Oxford Review of Education, vol 45., pp. 443-460


    By the age of 16 the attainment of most children in or on the edge of out of home care has fallen well behind the average for their age. This paper uses the English National Pupil Database to examine how much of this falling behind occurs before the age 7, and how any subsequent decline relates to time in care as against time outside it. To do this we compare the previous progress of three groups of 16-year-olds: 5,175 looked after by the state (CLA), 17,392 in need but not in care (CIN), and 22,567 children exactly matched with the CLA or CIN on initial attainment, special educational needs and eligibility for free school meals.
    We found that the attainment of the CIN and those CLA not yet in care was approximately one SD below the cohort average at age 7. It then fell relative to their peers while their rate of unauthorised absences and exclusions grew. Removal from home to care appeared to halt or greatly reduce this decline but did not, on average, reverse it. We conclude that educational interventions for CLA should also include CIN, start before 7, target problems associated with both school and family, and exploit the educational opportunity which care provides.

    Full details in the University publications repository