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Now is the time to make a difference

Connelly, Graham (2008) Now is the time to make a difference. Times Educational Supplement Scotland. ISSN 0143-8492

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Children who are looked after by local authorities tend to have low attainment and generally poor outcomes beyond school. This is the depressing message of research over many years. Yet, I am optimistic that we will improve this shameful situation. I base my optimism in part on the findings of a study which researchers at the University of Strathclyde recently completed for the Scottish Government. As part of a study of 18 local authority pilot projects, we examined attendance, exclusion and attainment data for more than 600 looked after children and young people. We found that attendance at school improved in all age groups, significantly among nine to 10-year-olds and those over 15 - almost half of the study population - and exclusions reduced significantly among the over 15s.