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Across Europe young people in public care are around five times less likely to attend tertiary education than those who have not been in care. This book provides a comprehensive account of why this shocking discrepancy exists and outlines ways to address the imbalance.

Drawing extensively on a substantial three-year long European Union funded research project led by the authors, this book examines the participation of young people in care in further and higher education in Europe. It provides a historical and legislative overview of the topic and in-depth national case studies look at the situation in England, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Hungary. The authors set out clearly what we can learn from these cross-national comparisons and how to create more equal opportunities for children and young people in care.

This important book will be essential reading for researchers and policy makers working on child welfare or young people in care, including government and local authority policy-makers, managers of children’s and education services, school governors, and academics working in the fields of education, sociology, psychology, social work and social policy.


This excellent and timely book starts from the indisputable premise that the educational experiences and progress of young people in public care have been neglected and little is known about this group of often severely disadvantaged young people. It studies official policies and practices and the experiences of young people themselves and demonstrates that many of the young people leaving care, despite their often negative school and family experiences, have high hopes and expectations of their futures, many aiming for higher education. It should be read by all social and community workers, educationalists, policy-makers and politicians - all of whom need to be better informed of the valuable contribution these young people could make to society.
Sally Tomlinson, Emeritus Professor, Goldsmiths College, London and Senior Research Fellow, Department of Education, University of Oxford
The authors of this important book have made a substantial contribution to what we know about the dismal educational performance of children and youth in public care. Synthesized data from five countries strongly support what Sonia Jackson has said for decades: "It does not have to be like this". Say it loud and clear, so that everyone can hear.
Bo Vinnerljung, Professor of Social Work, University of Stockholm, Sweden
Tthis book (is) recording the EU-funded YiPPEE research programme, an in-depth study of education for children in care across five very different countries - Denmark, England, Hungary, Spain, and Sweden... As so often with international research, there are both similarities and deep differences between countries...This book makes evidenced proposals for improvement at both country and European level, and for me there were strong resonances with experiences in all the countries. This book, the first to cover this subject in detail, should be read by all children's services policy makers, leaders and practitioners - and lessons learned!
John Freeman CBE, John Freeman Consulting, Children & Young People Now
The current study focuses on how prospects of entering further and higher education for this group might be improved by studying a sample of young people with a public care background from each of five European countries with varied traditions of public welfare: England, Denmark, Hungary, Spain and Sweden... This book will be of use to students of education as it has academic rigour, provides detail of research design and contributes substantially to knowledge on its subject. Teachers and others who work with and are concerned about young people whose educational prospects are adversely affected by their familial, social and economic circumstances will also find it of interest.
Paula Coates, SEBDA