Committee launches inquiry into educational attainment of looked-after children


The Education and Culture Committee is examining why the educational attainment of looked after children has not improved significantly since devolution, despite the considerable volume of policy, guidance and legislation in this area. The Committee’s inquiry will also consider how this problem can be addressed.

Launching the Committee’s inquiry Stewart Maxwell MSP, Committee convener, said:

“Scottish Government statistics show that, while the level of educational attainment for looked after children has improved, it is still considerably lower than for other school pupils. This is despite successive administrations since devolution, together with local authorities and other bodies, making significant attempts to address this issue.

The Committee wants to find out why these efforts have not been more successful. More importantly, the Committee wants to identify ways in which greater progress can be made.”


‘Looked after children’ includes those looked after at home, in foster care or other community placement, or in residential care.

Scottish Government statistics show that, in addition to fewer qualifications, looked after children tend to have poorer school attendance records, higher rates of school exclusion and are less likely to go onto employment, further or higher education, training or voluntary work after leaving school.

The Committee is now seeking written evidence as part of its inquiry. The closing date for this isFriday 7 October 2011. Please note that submissions should be in word format and be no more than four sides of A4 pages. Submissions should be e-mailed to .

Following consideration of the written evidence, the Committee expects to take oral evidence in November and to report in December.

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