Early years foundation stage profile results: 2016 to 2017

Data on Early Years attainment were published last month for the 2016/17 year, and are available at LA level. The DfE report notes that the proportion of children achieving a good level of development continues to rise and that the gender gap also decreased, though remains significant. There is a useful map showing the proportion of children achieving a good level across the country. The DfE notes that variability between LAs is an issue. Continue reading “Early years foundation stage profile results: 2016 to 2017”

Permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England: 2015 to 2016

The short report on national performance on exclusions is worth reading as it draws out some themes around reason for exclusion, biasses by disadvantage, gender and ethnicity. It also identifies that nationally the number of both permanent and fixed-term exclusions increased in 2015/16, although for permanent exclusions the report sees the longer-term trend as downward.

Data are available at local authority level on number and rate of exclusions, school type, length of fixed-term exclusions and number per pupil, and on reason for exclusion. National data give more detail, including exclusions of children with special educational needs or who are eligible for free school meals. We recommend that LAs and LSCBs review their own performance against the published data. Please do get in touch if you would like us to carry out this work for you.

LAs may be especially interested in what the detailed data on reasons for exclusions can tell them. In some cases this can be linked to data available from the children in need census to build up a picture of local concerns; for instance, the small number of LAs where drug and alcohol use was a higher than average proportion of reasons for exclusion could be linked with data on substance misuse at CiN assessment.

DfE statistics – permanent and fixed-period exclusion

Child death reviews: year ending 31 March 2017

The number of child deaths reviewed by Child Death Overview Panels (CDOPs) on behalf of LSCBs in 2016/17 was largely in line with the previous year, at 3,575. Nationally, the proportion where CDOPs identified “modifiable factors”, defined as “factors which may have contributed to the death … [and] by means of nationally or locally achievable interventions, could be modified to reduce the risk of future child deaths”, increased to 27% from 24% in the previous year. In other words, things that could have been done differently and possibly contributed to the child’s death.

68 children on Child Protection Plans died. 64 children subject to statutory orders died. The report defines this as pre court disposals, Referral Orders, Youth Rehabilitation Orders, and Detention and Training Orders. Oddly, this does not seem to include Care Orders – we have asked the report author to clarify this.

94 Serious Case Reviews were completed in the year, a fall from the high figure of 116 in the previous year. 63% of these deaths were identified as having modifiable factors.

Somewhat surprisingly, only 46% of deaths caused by suicide or self-harm were found to have modifiable factors. This suggests that CDOPs’s views in the majority of these deaths were that these deaths could not have been prevented.

Data are not published at the level of individual LSCBs because of the low numbers of children involved. The total number of reviews and of deaths identified as having modifiable factors are published by region, but all other published data is national only. Timescales for completing reviews (Table 3 of the published dataset) are improving nationally and we do recommend that LSCBs look at their own performance against the national picture – bearing in mind however the effect of small numbers. Apart from timescales, we would not expect or recommend that Boards carry out analysis of their own CDOP data against others, as small numbers would skew apparent performance. We would, however, expect that Board members do a basic review of their own figures and challenge as necessary. For instance, if child deaths where the child was on a Child Protection Plan make up a much higher proportion of child deaths than the 2% national figure, the Board would have a responsibility to identify if there is an issue here or whether it is just the result of very small numbers of deaths.

DfE statistics – child death reviews

Outcomes for children looked after by LAs: 31 March 2016

The national report provides a useful overview of the changes to attainment and attendance data, and highlights some of the differences between the attainment of all children, children looked after and children in need. As expected, nationally children looked after attain much less well than all children, but it may surprise some that they generally attain slightly better than children in need. This may indicate an additional level of stability in the lives of children looked after, at least those looked after long-term, or be linked to effective interventions and use of the Pupil Premium. It is also interesting that the gap between the attainment of all children and children looked after is less for children with a statement of SEN / Education, Health and Care Plan.

There is an additional short report on the attainment of children who ceased to be looked after because an adoption order, special guardianship order or child arrangements order (formerly a residence order).

Published 23 March 2017, updated 11 May 2017.

DfE statistics – Outcomes for Children Looked after

Data collection and analysis: CSE

We wanted to get a sense of what Local Children’s Safeguarding Boards (LSCBs) are using to measure prevalence of CSE, the amount of service activity in this area, quality of services and outcomes for children. To do this we picked ten LSCBs at random and looked at their 2015/16 annual reports and their CSE strategies. We actually picked 16 LSCBs to start with, but four don’t appear to have published their 15/16 reports, one only had the Executive Summary available and the other LSCB had a link to its report but the file was corrupt. Our ten chanced to skew towards cities and metropolitan boroughs where CSE may have become a focus earlier than in some more rural areas. Continue reading “Data collection and analysis: CSE”