Leaving care: Looking ahead and aiming higher
People who have been in out-of-home care as children are at high risk of social exclusion as adults. Longitudinal research suggests that this is closely linked to their low level of educational attainment. Yet in the past the education of children in care has attracted little research interest. In particular, almost nothing is known about the education of these young people beyond the stage of compulsory schooling. This paper draws on evidence from a European Union funded project, Young People in Public Care: Pathways to Education in Europe (YiPPEE) which aimed to find out how more care leavers could be encouraged to stay in school longer and enabled to access further and higher education. The research was carried out over three years by a consortium of five countries: England, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Hungary. Four principal methods were used: a state-of-the-art literature and policy review, secondary analysis of published and unpublished statistics, surveys of responsible public bodies in social care and education, including interviews with professionals and managers, and biographical narrative interviews with a sample of 170 young people aged 18–24. Individual country studies were consolidated at each stage into comparative reports.11All reports can be accessed on the project website: http://tcru.ioe.ac.uk/yippee.
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