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Educational outcomes for vulnerable children and young people

There's a relationship between educational attainment and health, as the longer people spend in the education system the more likely they are to be healthy and make healthier lifestyle choices. Therefore, educational attainment can be seen as an indicator of a person’s future health and wellbeing. Educational attainment is not distributed amongst the population equally, with children and young people who are looked after (LAC), those living in more deprived areas and those who are homeless less likely to remain in the education system as long as others.

What do we know?

Overall in Shropshire there's a higher level of educational attainment at both early years and GCSE compared with the national figures and similar local authorities. The proportion of children eligible for free school meals (FSM) has increased in Shropshire since 2005-06 at both early years and GCSE. Compared to the national and other similar local authorities both pupils not entitled to FSM and their peers who take up an entitlement to FSM have higher levels of attainment, and outcomes have been improving for both groups over the last four years. However, there is a significant gap in the pupil attainment, with those receiving free school meals having lower attainment levels than those who do not.

The same pattern has been identified in children with special educational needs (SEN). The number and proportion of SEN children at GCSE level has increased since 2005-06, and there has also been an increase in SEN children achieving 5 GCSE grades A* to C (including English and maths). However, there is still a gap between SEN children achieving 5 GCSE grades A* to C and children without SEN, with the latter significantly more likely to achieve 5 GCSE’s A* to C. The gap between SEN children and children without SEN achieving 5 GCSE’s A* to C has increased since 2005-06, as the proportion of children without SEN achieving that level of attainment is improving at a faster rate than for SEN children.

What are we doing?

Locally there are many initiatives to narrow gaps in attainment. Schools track the progress of target pupils in detail and plan for interventions, both in day-to-day classroom teaching and through a range of small group and one-to-one support. Since April 2011 schools have received the pupil premium, which is targeted at offering support to pupils receiving FSM, looked after children and those from service families.

What can we do?

Some of the following have been identified as ways to improve outcomes:

  • effective feedback to learners
  • involving pupils in planning, monitoring and reviewing their learning
  • peer tutoring and peer learning
  • early intervention
  • one-to-one tutoring


Last updated: 02 March 2016 Print this page

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