THE proportion of children in council care achieving good results in school has risen in recent years, new figures have revealed.

The data shows that while the results of children in the care system are way below local averages, they have been steadily improving.

Bradford Council has pointed out that despite the results being lower than those achieved by other children in the city, the backgrounds and difficult circumstances of many looked-after children meant the progress was still a “great improvement”.

The data will be discussed by Bradford Council’s Corporate Parenting Panel at their next meeting.

A report to the committee shows that the percentage of looked-after children reaching the expected standard or above in combined reading, writing and mathematics at Key Stage 2, the final year of primary school, had risen by 11 per cent from 2016 to 2017. But the figure, 28 per cent, is still below the national levels for looked-after children (32 per cent).

There were 24 children in reception that were in the care of the council last year. At this Early Years stage the number of children in care making good progress has risen from 17 per cent in 2014 to 50 per cent last year. The report points out that there is still more to be done to close the gap with the national average.


At seven years old, the proportion of children in care reaching the expected standard in reading has risen by five percentage points, in writing by four percentage points and in mathematics by nine percentage points. The report says: “This increase is better than that seen nationally.”

Sixty-five children in care sat GCSEs last year. Recent changes to how GCSE success is recorded means that instead of looking at the number of good GCSEs a student receives, children are measured on Progress 8 scores, where 0 is average, a higher number is positive, and a lower number is negative. New figures show Progress 8 scores for looked-after children improved in 2017, moving from -1.48 in 2016 to -1.02 in 2017.

Michael Jameson, strategic director of Children’s Services, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to report to our Corporate Parenting Panel about the great improvement in education outcomes across the district for looked-after children.”

The committee meets in City Hall at 4.30pm on Wednesday.