Scotland has high quality data about children, though it is currently not organised in a way that would allow research on a range of outcomes and how they vary across Scottish society. The 'Understanding Children's Outcomes' project, led by ADR Scotland, aims to change that.
ADR Scotland is working to link pupil census data for Scotland with Scottish Government data on looked after children, children’s health, births and deaths, and the 2001/2011 national census. It is also bringing together data on attendance, absence and exclusion from school, child protection, secure care for children, exam qualifications, school leaver destinations, and child wellbeing.
What is the potential of this newly linked data?
This newly linked data will allow researchers to paint a picture of academic achievement, health, economic activity and wellbeing for children and young people in Scotland. This will tie in with the national ambitions for people in Scotland, which are captured in the National Performance Framework, namely that children grow up loved, safe and protected so they can reach their full potential.
Having a Scotland-wide linked dataset that provides a set of outcomes for children, and brings in data on inequalities, will help researchers build a more thorough understanding of the experience of children in the country. Decision makers can then be better informed on how best to meet Scotland's ambitions for children.
Key questions this newly linked dataset could help to address include:
- Who are the looked after children in Scotland (in terms of their background)?
- What impact on later life and outcomes does being a looked after child have?
- Are there difference in outcomes for children in different types of care, such as kinship, foster, or continuing care?
- Project lead: Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician, Scottish Government
- Funded value: £489,844
- Duration: September 2019 – March 2022
This project is funded via the ADR UK Strategic Hub Fund, a dedicated fund for commissioning research using newly linked administrative data, in consultation with the Research Commissioning Board (RCB).