The Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England: Linking Care and Educational Data

First major study in England to explore the relationship between educational outcomes, young people’s care histories and individual characteristics. It focused on the reasons for the low educational outcomes of young people in care (looked after) in secondary schools in England.

Research Team

Joint research project between the School for Policy Studies and Graduate School of Education University of Bristol and the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education and Education Department, University of Oxford. Funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

Main Findings

The following reports were formally launched at the Nuffield Foundation London, 30 November 2015.

Overview report

Technical report 1

Technical report 2

Technical report 3

Key findings – policy and practice implications

Slides from launch event 30/11/15 London

If you would like free hard copies of the overview report, please request by email to:

The following article by David Berridge has been published in the journal Children and Youth Services Review, vol 77 June 2017, pp 86-93

The education of children in care: agency and resilience

Why was this research needed?

Children who are in care are one of the lowest performing groups in terms of educational outcomes. They also have poorer employment prospects and health outcomes than the general population and are over-represented in the homeless and prison populations. Poor educational progress and low achievement are known to contribute to these long-term outcomes.

RESEARCH TEAM: Professor Judy Sebba, Professor David Berridge, Professor Steve Strand, Professor Sally Thomas, Dr Nikki Luke, Dr John Fletcher, Dr Karen Bell, Professor Ian Sinclair, Aoife O’Higgins