1. ITV Report

Attainment gap for looked after children

There is still a wide gap between the attainments of children who are looked after and that of other pupils, according to the latest statistics from the Welsh Government.

Nearly half (45%) of children who are looked after are not engaged in education, training or employment (NEET) or in touch with their local authority at the age of 19. This compares with around 5% of other children. This report shows that with commitment, determination and a clear strategic vision, gaps in attainment can be tackled and reduced.

– Meilyr Rowlands, Estyn Chief Inspector

The report, published by Estyn, found that the schools and local authorities that are most effective in supporting looked after children had the following features in common:

  • Strong pastoral support at times of crisis or personal difficulty.
  • Effective tracking to monitor progress.
  • Personal education plans focused on clear outcomes, including goals for personal development and independence.
  • A willingness to listen and to use feedback from children and carers.
  • Regular staff training.
  • Senior leaders who recognise the need for additional support and guidance, and ensure it happens.

The report recommends that schools and local authorities build on the examples of best practice identified in the report.