Educational Disadvantage Centre

National Children in the Care of the State and the Education System Working Group

Dr Paul Downes, Director of DCU Educational Disadvantage Centre, Anne McCluskey Principal Our Lady of the Wayside, Bluebell and Professor Aislinn O’Donnell, Maynooth University have led the establishment of a new national policy and research Working Group to develop the education system in order to meet the needs of Children and Young People in Care.

The Educational Disadvantage Centre, DCU has hosted the initial meetings of the network in the Institute of Education, St. Patrick’s Campus, Drumcondra. The network membership includes representatives from the INTO, IMPACT, Children's Rights Alliance, National Parent's Council Primary and Early Years, Empowering People in Care (EPIC),  Focus Ireland, Irish Foster Care Association (IFCA), Careleavers Network, Maynooth University, DCU and Maynooth Access Service.

 Wayne Dignam, Chairperson of the Care Leavers Network Ireland presented a written and oral submission on children in state care and care leavers to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills by the Care Leavers' Network Ireland, entitled 'Barriers to Education Facing Vulnerable Groups' on May 29th, 2018.

Dr Paul Downes gave a keynote Presentation at the EPIC -  Empowering People in Care – Webinar on February 16th 2021. The presentation is entitled The Holistic Educational Needs of Children and Young People in Care: Placing an Invisible Issue on the National Policy Agenda.

EPIC Webinar Podcast available to view here


Anne McCluskey, Children in the Care of the State. Published in Leadership +, February 2020 Special Issue on Special Educational Needs, Page 8

Children in Need and Children in Care: Educational attainment and progress - University of Bristol and REES Centre Oxford University 2020

Alex Timpson Attachment and Trauma Awareness in Schools Programme – Working Paper 1 Attachment and trauma awareness training: analysis of pre-Covid survey data from staff in 24 primary schools October 2020

Alex Timpson Attachment and Trauma Awareness in Schools

Houses of the Oireachtas,  Joint Committee on Education and Skills.   Report on Education Inequality & Disadvantage, and Barriers to Education May 2019

Sebba, J & Luke, N. (2019). The educational progress and outcomes of children in care: editorial. Oxford Review of Education, 45, 4, 435-442

Carr, N & Mayock, P. (2019). Care and Justice: Children and Young People in Care and Contact with the Criminal Justice System. Dublin: Irish Penal Reform Trust

Eavan Brady & Robbie Gilligan (2019)., Exploring diversity in the educational pathways of care-experienced adults: Findings from a life course study of education and care. Children and Youth Services Review 104 (2019)

Brady, E., Gilligan, R and Nic Fhlannchadha, S. (2019) Care-experienced Young People Accessing Higher Education in Ireland. Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies ISSN 1393-7022. Vol. 19 (1), 2019, 51-64.

Brady, Gilligan and Nic Fhlannchadha (2019)

Devaney, C and Rooney, C. (June 2018). The Feasibility Of Conducting A Longitudinal Study On Children In Care Or Children Leaving Care Within The Irish Context. Institute for Lifecourse and Society

Elysia V.  Clemens,  Kristin  Klopfenstein,  Trent  L.  Lalonde,  Matt  Tis (2018).  The  effects  of  placement  and  school  stability  on  academic  growth trajectories  of  students  in  foster  care. Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 87, April 2018, Pages 86-94

Gilligan, R., & Arnau-Sabatés, L. (2017). The role of carers in supporting the progress of care leavers in the world of work.  Child and Family Social Work, 22, 2, 792 – 800

Mannay D, Evans R, Staples E, Hallett S, Roberts L, Rees A and Andrews D. The consequences of being labelled 'looked-after': Exploring the educational experiences of looked-after children and young people in Wales.  British Educational Research Journal, 2017 Aug; 43(4):683-699.

European Social Network (2016). Investing in children’s Services: Improving  Outcomes

Mannay; Evans; Staples; Hallett; Roberts; Alyson and Andrews (2015). Understanding the educational experiences and opinions, attainment, achievement and aspirations of looked after children in Wales: The Lace Project. CASCADE, Cardiff University

Keen, E. (2015). Realising children's rights: A training manual for care professionals working with children in alternative care. Austria: SOS Children’s Villages

Dawn Mannay; Eleanor Staples; Sophie Hallett; Louise Roberts; Alyson Rees; Rhiannon Evans and Darren Andrews (2015 ).  Understanding the educational experiences and opinions, attainment, achievement and aspirations of looked after children in Wales.CASCADE/Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre, Cardiff University

Commissioned  by  the  Ombudsman  for  Children. (2015). Education  of  Children  in  Care  in  Ireland:  An  Exploratory  Study . Merike  Darmody,  Léan  McMahon,  Joanne  Banks,  The  Economic  and  Social  Research  Institute  and  Robbie  Gilligan,  Children’s  Research  Centre,  Trinity  College

Sebba, Berridge, Luke, Fletcher, Bell,  Strand, Thomas, Sinclair &  O’Higgins (2015) The Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England: Linking Care and Educational Data. Rees Centre, Bristol University

EPIC, Empower Ireland and Focus Ireland (2012) Pathways

Young People from a Public Care Background Pathways to Education in Europe – Final report of the YiPPEE Project, WP 12 March 2011

National  Foundation  for  Educational  Research  The  Role  of  the  School  in Supporting  the  Education  of Children  in  Public  Care. Felicity  Fletcher-Campbell,  Tamsin  Archer  and  Kathryn  Tomlinson

Guidance on the Education of Children and Young People in Public Care. London: Department for Education and Employment

Colette McAuley and Teresa Davis. (2009). Emotional well-being and mental health of looked after children in England. Child and Family Social Work, 14, pp 147–155

Department of Health and Children (2003) National Standards for Foster Care Ireland