Changing fortunes? Aspiration and realisation for looked after young people’s post-compulsory educational pathways in England

Claire Louise Cameron



The post-compulsory educational pathways of young people who have spent some or all of their childhoods in local authority care varied. They are seven times less likely to attend university than their age contemporaries not in care. Even those with some qualifications at age 16 face difficulties in progression. Based on the English data from a European study of young people with a public care background, this paper sets out six pathways and investigates whether and how young people’s aspirations and goals for the short term were realised. The paper argues that among this group of young people who were in local authority care the dominant positioning is of self-responsibility for achieving plans, in line with individualist thinking. But such positioning is an overly optimistic picture; many barriers to the realisation of plans were also evident. 


Care leavers, aspirations, educational pathways

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Copyright (c) 2018 Claire Louise Cameron

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