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Publications and News

Page last updated: 21/08/2020


Virtual School Bulletins

Current Bulletin

Spring 2019

Previous Bulletins

Summer 2018​


Research, publications and news items relating to the education of children in care and care leavers

​​Supporting the attainment of disadvantaged pupils (DfE November 2015)

Research into how schools are raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
What are the most effective ways to support disadvantaged pupils' achievement? (DfE document)
Research undertaken by NFER has identified seven building blocks that are common in schools which are more successful in raising disadvantaged pupils' attainment.


Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education​ has undertaken an international systematic review of the educational outcomes for children in care. 28 case studies were completed, ranging from 107 to over 222,000 young people and the published report in full is now available. ​​​

The Rees Centre, University of Oxford and the University of Bristol have launched a new report outlining the findings from their joint research study into the Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. (November 2015)

The report is available on the websites of the Rees Centre, University of Bristol School for Policy Studies and the Nuffield Foundation. In addition, please request free hard copies from the Rees Centre by email to:

 The Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England (Overview report)

 Further information on the study including technical reports and briefing​

ADCS, the Virtual School Heads Network (NAVSH) and the National Consortium for Examination Results (NCER) has today published a paper looking at how the educational progress of children in care can be measured more accurately.

The paper builds on the results of a comprehensive study published yesterday by Rees Centre for ​Research in Fostering and Education, which found that, in general, the longer a child is in care the better their educational outcomes and that the relationship between being in care and low educational outcomes is explained, in part, by children and young people’s pre-care experiences including poverty, maltreatment and neglect rather than the care system itself.

The paper by ADCS, NAVSH and NCER aims to stimulate a national debate around improving support and raising ambitions for this vulnerable cohort of children and young people. It makes a compelling argument for change by setting out a range of challenges and recommendations for local authorities, individual schools, multi-academy trusts, the DfE and Ofsted and by identifying deficiencies in the current approach in order to improve education provision and individual outcomes for children in care, to enable all parts of the care system to be held to account and to improve the dissemination of good practice.

 In addition, it proposes the development of a new evidence-driven data management and analysis system which will help local authorities to take improvement action and help them, as corporate parents, to make more informed choices about schooling for individual children in care.

The ADCS, NAVSH and NCER paper is available on the ADCS website 

​​​​​Perceptions of Care is a report produced in 2016/17 by Become and Voices from Care​ as part of the 5 Nations 1 Voice project, funded by the Big Lottery. It explores how children in care and young care leavers think other people, including teachers and social workers think about care (June 2017)

The Become charity website