The National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL) has published the findings of a study that is the first to provide an overall picture of care leavers in higher education. The research was conducted by Dr Neil Harrison at the University of the West of England on behalf of NNECL, and involved an examination of the educational pathways of all young people in England who were 16 in 2008, including 6,470 care leavers, and an analysis of survey responses from 212 care-experienced students currently in higher education.
The findings show that 12% of care leavers had entered higher education by the age of 23, which is higher than previous estimates of 6%, but still substantially lower than for other young people at 42%. The research also found that care leavers in higher education were more likely to withdraw, or have delays and restarts within their studies, but those that did complete their degrees were as likely to achieve a first or upper second class degree as otherwise-similar students.
Further details and a link to the report can be found on the NNECL website.