Care experienced children in Scotland’s largest local authority are outperforming pupils nationally, according to a report.

Glasgow has the largest proportion of looked after children, with responsibility for almost a fifth.

Children in the care system are known to be one of the lowest performing groups in terms of educational outcomes. 

Their lives are often characterised by poverty, disrupted family life and changes to care placements and schools which can be detrimental for attendance.

But a report found outcomes for pupils in Glasgow have improved significantly over the past five years.

Pupils are gaining more qualifications, staying on at school longer and are more likely to go into jobs, training or further education.

Attendance is comparable to children in the general population and the number of secondary pupils expelled from school has seen a dramatic decrease, from 174 per 1000 pupils to 53.

The council's own report shows that 80 per cent of pupils stayed on at school until S5 in 2020-2021 in Glasgow compared to 67.5% nationally while 35% went into sixth year, compared with 24.6% nationally.

The number of care experienced pupils gaining SCQF level 4 Literacy and Numeracy by the end of S5 has risen from 53.3% to 56.6% over the past five years.

More than 63% of pupils achieved one or more Level 5 awards compared to 49.7% nationally.

The percentage gaining three or more awards at Level 6 by the end of S6 has almost doubled over 5 years increasing from 7.4% to 14.6%.

Glasgow City Council said the number of care experienced pupils entering positive destinations has also markedly increased, from 79.6% to 91.3%.

Research shows fewer than a quarter (22%) of young people across the UK who are care experienced are in education, training or employment, compared to nearly two thirds (57%) of their peers.

Only 6% of young people who have been in care go on to further education while they will experience an average pay gap of £6,000.

Councillor Christina Cannon, City Convener for Education, Communities and Equalities said: “Glasgow’s young people continue to raise the bar in relation to attainment and achievement with improved exam results across the board.

“This includes big strides in increase in positive destinations across employment, training, further and higher education in the last five years.

“This is particularly heartening to see in young people who have to overcome a number of challenges and I am very proud of their successes and the support they have received from schools and staff.

"We want every young person in the city to reach their full potential regardless of circumstances and we will do everything in our power to equip pupils with the skills in order to do this.”

A “virtual”  school was set up by Glasgow’s council in August 2021 to provide extra support to children and young people, including those who are care experienced, and disrupted learners whose education has been impacted by issues such as poor health.

The report shows that attendance levels for care experienced pupils in the city’s primary schools are consistently 90%. and comparable to the general population.

Secondary school attendance levels within the care experienced population have  also improved over the last five years from 85.5% to 87.6%, however there is a wider attendance gap here than at the primary school stage.