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Children Looked After Analysis Project

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), the National Association of Virtual School Heads (NAVSH), and the National Consortium for Examination Results (NCER) have launched the Children Looked After (CLA) Analysis Project. This project has been jointly funded by the Department for Education, ADCS and 147 individual local authorities.

The CLA Analysis Project is a new national system, run by NCER on behalf of local authorities, to measure the educational performance and progress of children and young people whilst in care.

The system matches social care and educational data from the 2016 SSDA903 national database and National Pupil Database; and reports on some of the factors that are shown to make the most difference in improving the outcomes of children in care by researchers at The Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education at the University of Oxford and the University of Bristol.

The data will enable Virtual School Heads to write more analytical action plans and annual reports, providing a clear idea of their children’s progress from prior attainment, as well as attainment compared with regional and national trends. It will also help Virtual School Heads to ensure the effective use of Pupil Premium Plus funding and provide evidence to the local authority or Ofsted of their effectiveness in improving educational outcomes.

The tool will operate across local authority boundaries to ensure that children placed in one local authority and educated in another are included in the reporting functionality.

Dave Hill, President of ADCS, said: “Education is key to increasing life opportunities for all children and young people and the economic prosperity of our local communities. For children in care who may have had difficult early life experiences, it is vital that we do all we can to help support them to achieve better than expected progress in their education and beyond. The tool will enable local authorities to work with schools and Virtual School Heads to set ambitious but appropriate educational targets for cohorts and individuals in care, based on evidence that has previously not been available.”

Debbie Barnes, Chair of the ADCS Educational Achievement Policy Committee, said: “This new tool will enable all those working with children in care to use a wide range of national comparators to set ambitious and accelerated but realistic educational targets, so that every child in care can be given the support they need to make a success of their education.”

John Freeman CBE, Chair of the NCER, said: “As corporate parents we need to provide the same support for children in care as we would for our own children. The starting point is to be able to know how children in care are doing when compared with other children. This new tool will provide professionals, including Virtual School Head teachers, teachers and social workers with information they need.”

Alan Clifton, Immediate Past Chair of the NAVSH, said: “Virtual schools work with schools to support the very best educational outcomes for children in care. But it is only with clear information that we can do that job properly, setting aspirational but realistic targets and allocating the necessary specialist support funded through the Pupil Premium.”



  • The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Ltd is the professional leadership association for Directors of Children’s Services and their senior management teams in England.
  • The National Association of Virtual School Heads (NAVSH) is the national representative body of all Virtual School Heads in England. Virtual School Heads have a statutory duty to ensure each local authority promotes the educational achievement of children in its care.
  • The National Consortium for Examination Results (NCER) is a not-for-profit community interest company owned by, and acting on behalf of, all local authorities in the field of education performance data.
  • Initial proposals for the CLA Analysis Project were set out in a joint ADCS, NAVSH and NCER policy paper published in 2015, more.
  • For more information about the CLA Analysis Project please contact Peter Richmond, NCER Project Lead, at / 0151 511 7003 or 07920 284026

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