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Title: Could do better! : how key care factors influence the educational achievement of children looked after at home and away from home in two local authorities in Scotland
Author: McClung, Michele
ISNI:       0000 0004 2683 971X
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2008
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The aim of this thesis was to explore the key care factors that influence the educational achievement of children looked after at home and away from home in Scotland. Traditionally there has been less research conducted in Scotland than in the rest of the United Kingdom. The research analysed a large new sample - one fifth of the care leaving population in Scotland - and spans a five year period. The thesis makes an original research contribution. A unique features of the research is that it investigates the experiences of children looked after at home, alongside those looked after away from home. In addition, the research involved two large local authority areas in Scotland that had not previously participated in such research on looked after children. What emerged from the research was that the Corporate Parent (local authorities and partner agencies) had not yet successfully prioritised the educational achievement of looked after children in policy and practice, despite education being identified by the government as a mechanism for combating social exclusion. The key findings of the research demonstrated that looked after children perform less well academically than the general school population. In particular, placement type, the reason for becoming looked after and the age on becoming looked after were significant factors in determining educational achievement. Other factors such as gender and number of placements were also found to be associated with educational achievement. Empirical results further indicated that looked after children suffered from discrimination and social exclusion in all aspects of their lives, including school and where they lived. This was a significant finding as the disadvantage experienced by many looked after children continues to impact on their lives into adulthood, making them some of the most socially excluded adults in Scotland and the United Kingdom today.
Supervisor: Gayle, Vernon ; Allan, Julie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: looked after children ; educational attainment of looked after children ; children in care ; foster care ; home supervision ; residential care ; Children with social disabilities Scotland Education ; Children Institutional care Scotland ; Problem children Education