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Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: HV, LC
This thesis presents a longitudinal qualitative case study of the educational experiences and outcomes of a sample of looked after young people. The majority of these young people are in foster care and a smaller number are in residential care. They cannot live at home for a variety of reasons including: inadequate parenting, neglect, abuse, or because some are beyond parental control. Children and young people who are 'looked after' by the state are vulnerable to a range of disadvantage including poor educational achievement. The study concentrates on a group of fourteen young people in one authority in South Wales whose educational achievements and experiences were tracked over three school years, from Year 9 to Year 11. The study explores links between a number of issues that appear to impact on their educational outcomes including: young people's background, type of care placement, stability and continuity of care and school placement and educational experiences. A number of the young people were interviewed over a three year period while aged between fourteen and sixteen. This was a significant time for the young people as it straddled two important assessment stages in their schooling. Some of the young people achieved well in their education during this period, whilst for others their schooling deteriorated as their lives became disrupted by care placement and school changes. Another group had particular challenging needs and there was little evidence that any sustained progress was achieved during mis three year period. The thesis focuses on multiple in-depth interviews with young people and includes carer and professional perspectives. It identifies individual, operational, policy and strategic features that help account for poor educational outcomes and also suggests ways to improve their attainment in school.
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