The Nuffield Foundation has funded research that will analyse education-related data on 7,300 21-year-old care leavers, as well as carry out interviews. Government statistics from 2017 showed 40 per cent of care leavers aged 19 to 21 were not in education, employment or training (Neet), compared with 13 per cent of the same age group in the general population.

Researchers from the University of Oxford’s Rees Centre and the University of York plan to compare outcomes of three groups of 21-year-olds. They are: young people who just fell short of qualifying as care leavers; young people categorised as children in need following a social services assessment or because of a disability at age 15 to 16; and children who fall into neither category. They will interview care leavers, young people and key people in their lives including foster carers and professionals from local authorities, education and employment sectors.

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