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Educational Outcomes of Children Referred to Social Care

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In August, Action for Children published research which reveals wide school attainment gaps for children with a social care referral.

There is widespread political consensus on the importance of boosting school attainment. However, a growing number of children are facing challenges at home that can hold them back and prevent them from achieving their potential in the classroom.

The research found:

  • Between 2019 and 2021, children with a social care referral were more than twice as likely to fail their English or Maths GCSEs than children without a social care referral.
  • Children who didn't get support the first time they were referred to social care had significantly worse GCSE outcomes than those who got support the first time they were referred, and those that never got support at all.
  • 58% of children in our cohort with a social care referral were persistently absent at some point in their school career.
  • 31% of children with a referral were suspended from school at some point, and 3% were permanently excluded.

Action for Children are using the research to highlight the need for both the government and opposition parties to commit to rolling out family help services across all local authorities in England beyond 2025, as was recommended by the Independent Review of Children's Social Care. You can find the full research report on The Action for Children website.

Read an article in Schools Week about the research written by Action for Children's head of policy and research, Joe Lane here.

Get In Touch

Postal Address: c/o Northampton Methodist District

Bouverie Court, 6 The Lakes, Bedford Road, Northampton, NN4 7YD

Telephone: 01604 630128


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