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GCSE: Children in Care

Question for Department for Education

UIN 113316, tabled on 15 November 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of looked-after children achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C in each year since 2010.

Answered on

24 November 2017

The number and percentage of children looked after continuously for at least twelve months at 31 March of the year in which key stage 4 assessments were taken who achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C in each year is given in the table below.

Due to reforms in secondary accountability measures, the numbers and percentages in the table are not directly comparable across years. Notably, there were major changes in the calculation of the performance measures between 2013 and 2014 so we cannot conclude that there is a decline in performance in these years.

Key stage 4 eligibility and performance of children who have been looked after continuously for at least twelve months1, percentage achieving 5+ GCSEs A*-C or equivalent.

Figures from 2014 onwards are not comparable with those in earlier years due to major reforms in the calculation of key stage 4 performance measures and do not signify a decline in the performance of looked after children2

Years: 2010 - 20163

Coverage: England, all schools4

Number achieving 5+ GCSEs A*-C or equivalent

Percentage achieving 5+ GCSEs A*-C or equivalent






















Source: CLA-NPD matched data

1. Children looked after continuously for at least twelve months as at 31 March excluding those children in respite care. Only children who have been matched to key stage 4 data have been included.

2. In 2013/14, two major reforms were implemented which affect the calculation of key stage 4 performance measures data: 1) 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, and 2) an early entry policy to only count a pupil’s first attempt at a qualification, in subjects counted in the English Baccalaureate.

3. Figures for 2016 are based on amended attainment data. Figures for all other years are based on final data. Including entries and achievements in previous academic years.

4. Includes pupils in state-funded schools (academies, free schools, city technology colleges, further education colleges with provision for 14- to 16-year-olds and state-funded specials schools), independent schools, independent special schools, non-maintained special schools, hospital schools and alternative provision (including pupil referral units, AP free schools and AP academies as well as state-funded AP placements in other institutions).

5. Since September 2014, general further education colleges and sixth-form colleges have been able to directly enrol 14- to 16-year-olds. 2014/15 was the first year in which these colleges have pupils at the end of key stage 4 and are included in the data. Early entry policy extended to all subjects.

Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages have been rounded to one decimal place.