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Education as a Predictor for Inclusion Dr Dolores Davey Cardiff University

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1 Education as a Predictor for Inclusion Dr Dolores Davey Cardiff University

2 Key Factors that influence the education and experience and achievement of children looked after: a case study of young people placed in residential and foster care in South Wales

3 Statistics and targets Large percentage with no qualifications only 6% gain at least 5 GCSEs 75% should have achieved at least 1 GCSE by 2003 5 GCSEs by 2010 58% failed to achieve a single GCSE compared to 95% of the general population Despite the longstanding recognition of this issue, there appears to have been no substantial improvement.

4 The study Longitudinal 14 young people Residential and foster care From school year 9-11 Ages 14-16 Boys and girls

5 The context Residential care Foster care Local authority carers Independent Corporate focus

6 Conceptual underpinnings Next to time spent in their home environment, time spent in school is the most significant influence upon development and sense of well-being (Hayden et al. 1999)

7 Amongst many other things school is….. Guarantor of basic protection Capacity builder Secure base Integrator of community culture Gateway to opportunities Resource provider

8 Year 9:SATS Results Achievers: 6 Statemented: 4 No result: 4

9 Young People and School Young people not always aware of who would liase with school on their behalf Young people did not think that residential workers, social workers and to some extent carers understood the school system of key stages Young people understood the importance of educational achievement for achieving ambitions Young people were not antischool

10 Year 11 GCSE Results Achievers (6 year 9) 2 2 gained results in line with national targets 2 did not gain results within either national of looked after targets (thereby moved into no result group) 1 Youth Offending Institution (no result) 1 left LA system (unclear) Statemented (4 in year 9) 4 stability in care placement and school generally sustained for 3 young people No results (4 in year 9) 4 4 young people remained in the no result group

11 Young people in Need? Young people in residential care appeared to have less hobbies and interests than those in foster care A small number of the group did not receive full time education Attendance deteriorated in years 10 and 11 Young people suggested they were not clear about the process for fixed period or permanent exclusions.

12 As one young person commented: Im excluded if I go to school…… and Im excluded if I miss……So, if you miss long enough they tell you not to go. But when Im excluded I get into trouble cos Im bored

13 Practice issues Improved record keeping and monitoring Transparent and agreed areas of collaboration Opportunities for more understanding of roles The vision is there but the mechanisms are not in place (SW) I have been to meetings, my agenda is to get him in; their agenda is to keep him out (SW) In care, and accommodated…. I find them a bit difficult (teacher)

14 Initiatives to improve school attendance of older group in residential care Creative, flexible alternatives for those not in school Promote enthusiasm for school nobody got me up for my SATs, anyway no- one else here goes to school (YP) I did have a long gap-2 years I do not know why it was so difficult to find a school place(YP) I love this school,even if I move to the other side of the country I still want to go to this school (YP)

15 Ensure young people know who will liase on their behalf Promote reading Not sure who would go…whoever is on There is a real lack of encouragement to read, at home,in foster care, in residential care.. Children are not encouraged to read (SW)

16 More training on system thinking Build on good attendance The relationship between school and social services needs to be improved (T) I feel cross that they did not do more for me during years 6-9, I was hardly in school (YP)

17 Re-visit the process for exclusions and roles within that process. for one young person I am working with school is the only thing that gives him an identity..if that goes he has got absolutely nothing(SW)

18 Being a corporate parent Working relationship between social service and education pivotal Ethos that promotes inclusive and positive environment Champions who shape and co-ordinate the delivery of a service Promote resilience in may guises (in and out of school) Ensure an environment to proactively engage with young people and listen to them Services creative, flexible and meet the needs of the individual Target setting, calculating outcomes, aggregation of data

19 Focus on uniqueness What is known about this child Pre care experiences-family and education Where are they living Where are they educated What is their likely education outcome What activities and hobbies are they involved in to build self esteem How will they deal with attachment disruptions now and in the future What aspects of their unique circumstances need to be scrutinised

20 Conclusion and ongoing challenges Consider being looked after as a potentially high risk activity. Strengthen reliable information on the general and specific. Meet the propensity for low educational achievement with innovative mechanisms to promote stability to compensate for earlier experiences. Develop well anchored relationships.

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