Attainment Progress for Care Experienced Young People

Attainment Progress for Care Experienced Young People Image

A “marked increase” in attainment for Dundee care experienced young people is among the highlights of a report measuring progress of the city council’s current corporate parenting plan.

The children and families services committee will be told at a meeting on Monday October 28 that a new three-year plan will be launched later this year to build on progress and take on board recommendations from the national Independent Care Review published in February.

Members of the committee will hear that over the last three years under the current plan there has been a concerted effort to increase support to care experienced children and young people. This is intended to improve their general wellbeing, including through their engagement and attainment at school and their entry into further education, training and employment.

Achievements include:

  • School exclusion - in 2016-17 there were 202 per 1,000 Looked After Children (LAC) pupils excluded - where in 2018/19, this had declined markedly to 110 per 1,000 LAC pupils excluded.
  • Attendance - remains the same for consecutive sessions as in both 2018-19 and 2019-20 it was 87.5% compared with 91.7% for all pupils.
  • Attainment – in session 2017-18 only 19.5% of Looked After pupils in S5 gained SCQF Level 5 in Literacy and Numeracy compared to a marked increase to 27% in 2018-19.
  • Positive destinations - in session 2017-18, 86.7% of Looked After school leavers entered a positive destination compared with 87.5% in 2018-19

The report also outlines the impact of the Breakthrough mentoring scheme which has engaged with over 400 pupils considered to be on the edges of care or currently in care.                                                                                               

A range of support is being developed to help care experienced children and young people at home and in the community, including where there are concerns about their mental wellbeing.

The report also outlines the ways that services were adapted in the wake of lockdown and the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

These include the creation of Community Support Centres, where the average daily attendance for vulnerable pupils was 137, while a total of 404 vulnerable pupils attended a centre at some point during lockdown

Also, during lockdown, the most vulnerable children and young people in the city continued to receive high levels of support. A new Fast Online Referral Tracking (FORT) system also helped to distribute wellbeing funds to families affected by the pandemic.

The committee will also consider a separate report outlining work that has been undertaken using funding provided by the Hunter Foundation and BBC Children in Need to help improve the lives of vulnerable children and their families.

The project is intended to prevent children entering the care system and to help them to overcome barriers in their lives.

Depute children and families services convener Councillor Roisin Smith said: “The corporate parenting plan has made a real impact over the last three years and we are seeing more positive outcomes for young people.

“We can never be complacent and that is why the voices of these young people are always at the centre of the work that the council and its partners undertake.

“Learning is being taken on board all the time and I am keen that the recommendations of the Independent Care Review can make our next plan even stronger.

“We have all come a long way in the last three years, but I know that much more needs to be done for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in Dundee.

“The city has dedicated individuals and teams who are working hard to ensure that these young people can overcome the obstacles they face in their lives and can make a positive contribution to society.”

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