Wakefield children in care performing strongly in secondary school, study shows

Secondary school pupils in the care of the council are performing well academically, but primary school students are lagging behind.
Secondary school pupils in the care of the council are performing well academically, but primary school students are lagging behind.

Children in care in Wakefield are performing strongly in secondary school compared to their peers elsewhere in the country, a study has shown.

A survey of GCSE results in the 2017/18 academic year revealed that a higher proportion of the district's children in care achieved five 'good' grades than the national average.

One success story involved an Afghan asylum seeker, who left school within 11 qualifications, despite only arriving in the UK in 2015 and speaking English as a second language.

Their story, along with the figures, has appeared in a report highlighting the academic achievements of youngsters in the care of the local authority.

The secondary school students' performance was matched by that of four and five year-olds in the district.

58 per cent of 'early years' children in care achieved all of their learning, literacy and numeracy goals all pupils of that age are set.

This compares favourably to a national average of 45 per cent and a regional average of 41 per cent.

However, it is a different story in Key Stage 2 education, which covers the final four years of primary school for most children.

While 35 per cent of looked after children across the country met the so-called "expected standard" in Year 6, only 17 per cent of those in Wakefield did so.

The academic performance of looked after children in the district is observed by the virtual school, which is run by Wakefield Council.

The report, which will go before a corporate parenting committee next week, said: "The virtual school sets high expectations for all pupils, endeavouring to support children, schools and carers to ensure they make at least the progress expected.

"Progress is monitored termly for all children and the target is that 100 per cent of children make the progress expected across the year based on their starting point when coming into care."

Local Democracy Reporting Service