Learn with Care to Go Higher: Inconsistent schooling 

Many care-experienced students face inconsistent schooling during their time in care. In this blog we look at some reasons for this, and some of the systems in place to help minimise the impact. 

While many students are able to stay in the same school throughout their education, statistics show that 30% of young people in care in 2022 had 2-5 placements during that period. Often when a child changes placement they will need to start at a new school, which comes with a whole host of disruption. Being aware of this can be a great way to offer support. One of the most relatable difficulties is needing to make new friends. For care-experienced young people combining this with a new placement means that often their entire support network is disrupted and a new one needs to be formed. 

New teaching styles and rules can also be difficult to get used to. Between finding the right rooms, knowing where to store belongings, and even getting used to teaching styles, the academic achievement of the student can really struggle with the additional disruption. Furthermore, schools may follow the same curriculums but might not teach in the same order. This means some subjects could be missed entirely if the new school has studied them before the student joins, causing gaps in their learning when it comes time for assessments. 

When a care-experienced student changes school, many will have a designated teacher to support and promote their educational achievement. Getting in touch with them as soon as possible can really help ease transitions. Go Higher West Yorkshire (GHWY) recently ran our first event for designated teachers that was specifically aimed at supporting the care-experienced student journey to Higher Education (HE). We hope to run more in the future.  

Many care-experienced pupils have a Personal Education Plan (PEP) to keep track of their progress, strengths and needs in order to help set individualised targets. This can help ensure topics are not missed or that the student’s strengths are acknowledged early in the new school, rather than the staff needing to learn the student’s capabilities from scratch. 

In order to compensate for these disruptions, many institutions offer contextual admissions. This means that young people from a care background can sometimes be given reduced entry requirements to enter HE. Between this and being understanding of the difficulties the young person might be facing, we can support the students and make the transition to HE as smooth as possible. 


Dominic House, GHWY Care to Go Higher Delivery Officer