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Children in Care: GCSE

Question for Department for Education

UIN 16362, tabled on 16 November 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of looked-after children have received at least five GCSEs at grades A*-C in each year since 2010.

Answered on

24 November 2015

The information requested is published in the statistical first release “Outcomes for Children Looked After by Local Authorities in England as at 31 March 2014” on GOV.UK[1].

Percentage of children who have been looked after continuously for at least 12 months achieving 5 or more GCSEs at A*-C or equivalent, 2010-2014, England[2].







2013 methodology

2014 methodology

5+ GCSEs A*-C or equivalent







Source: CLA-NPD matched data

Note that two major reforms were implemented which affected the calculation of key stage 4 (KS4) performance measures in 2014[3] and therefore 2014 data is not comparable to that for earlier years. The additional ‘2013 methodology’ figure shown in the table has been included to provide a point of comparison, using a proxy set of results based on 2012/13 rules. However, it cannot reverse the behaviour of some schools in response to the policy changes, nor does it take into account other changes, so still should not be used to make direct comparisons with earlier years.


[2] Children looked after continuously for at least 12 months as at 31 March excluding those children in respite care. Only children who are matched to key stage 4 data are included. Figures for 2014 are based on provisional data. Figures for all other years are based on final data.

[3] Professor Alison Wolf’s Review of Vocational Education recommendations which restrict the qualifications counted, prevent any qualification from counting as larger than one GCSE and cap the number of non-GCSEs included in performance measures at two per pupil. There is also an early entry policy to only count a pupil’s first attempt at a qualification. More details can be found in the statistical release: The reforms had a significant impact on the 2013/14 GCSE and equivalent results data for all pupils. To aid users in understanding this impact on children looked after, the additional ‘2013 methodology’ data has been produced, which removes the rules regarding the Wolf Review recommendations and early entry policy from the calculation of performance measures.