Statistics - national statistics

Outcomes for children looked after by local authorities

A range of outcome measures at national and local authority level in England for children continuously looked after for at least 12 months.



This statistical first release (SFR) provides information at national and local authority (LA) level on the outcomes for children who have been looked after continuously for at least 12 months at 31 March 2013. This is the fourth year that this annual release has been published.

Outcomes reported include educational attainment, special educational needs (SEN), exclusions from school, health including emotional and behavioural health, offending and substance misuse.

Key points

  • Looked-after children have poorer educational outcomes than non-looked-after children. A high proportion (67.8%), have special educational needs and their emotional and behavioural health is often a cause for concern. However, despite poor outcomes, there have been improvements for nearly all of the measures in this statistical release.

  • The percentage of looked-after children achieving 5 or more A* to C GCSEs or equivalent including English and mathematics has increased from 11.0% in 2009 to 15.3% in 2013.

  • The attainment gaps between looked-after and non-looked-after children for the main key stage 1, 2 and 4 measures have decreased or remained the same from 2012 to 2013. However the gaps are still large, especially for key stage 4, where 15.3% of looked after children achieved 5 or more A* to C GCSEs or equivalent including English and mathematics compared with 58.0% of non-looked-after children. Although this gap has narrowed in recent years to 42.7 percentage points, it is still higher than it was in 2009.

  • During the year ending 31 March 2013, 6.2% of looked-after children aged 10 to 17 had been convicted or subject to a final warning or reprimand and 3.5% of all looked-after children had a substance misuse problem.

  • Looked-after children are twice as likely to be permanently excluded from school and nearly three times more likely to have a fixed term exclusion than all children. Around half of all looked after children aged 5 to 16 were considered to be ‘borderline’ or ‘cause for concern’ in relation to their emotional and behavioural health.

Additional analysis of absence rates for children looked after continuously for at least 12 months was published on 2 April 2014. Authorised, unauthorised, overall and persistent absence have been presented in national table 12 and local authority table LA10 from 2009 to 2013. Comparisons to all children are also included.

Contact details

Queries should be directed to:

Lucy Blyth


Telephone: 0207 340 7322