Prior to April 2016, data was collected about the educational qualifications of care leavers if they were aged 16 years or older at the time of care ending, as part of the Outcome Collection (OC) return*.  This includes the number of GCSEs attained, broken into A*-G and A*-C ranges, the number of GNVQs and the number of other educational or vocational qualifications. 

For those children who attained no qualifications, a reason is given, accommodating situations where a child sat at least one exam but did not attain a qualification, where a child sat no exams due to illness or disability, and where a child sat no exams for another reason i.e. not due to an illness or disability. 

Within SAIL, this dataset must be linked to the primary Children Looked After census (LACW) to get child characteristics (week of birth, gender, ALF). 

The Outcomes Collection return was a series of annual returns made by local authorities with respect to care leavers.  The OC1 focused on educational qualifications at 16 and the OC3 focused on their circumstances on their 19th birthday.   

The OC2 focused on children who had been continuous looked after for 12 months, compiling information at a local authority level with respect to offending, health promotion checks, immunisations, dental checks, health assessments and substance misuse problem identification and intervention.  This information is now collected as part of the Children Receiving Care and Support return.  Prior to 2016, it was part of the Children in Need return. 

Data Owner Welsh Government 
Earliest Data 1st April 2002
Last Data 31st March 2016 
Frequency of Updates No longer updated 
Lag in Updates Becoming Available No longer updated 

Meta Data 

ADR UK Catalogue
Health Data Gateway  
Data ResourceAllnatt, G., Lee, A., Scourfield, J., Elliott, M., Broadhurst, K., and Griffiths, L., (2022) “Data resource profile: children looked after administrative records in Wales”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 7(1). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v7i1.1752.
Data InsightAllnatt, G., Elliott, M., Cowley, L., Lee, A., North, L., Broadhurst, K., and Griffiths, L. (2023) Data Explained: Children Looked After Datasets. Available from: 
Other useful publicationsThere is some information relating to educational outcomes for children receiving care and support, including children looked after which is available by age / phase of education where the child has been educated in a local authority maintained school.  However, data is not available for 2020 and 2021 due to (1) changes in the national curriculum for Wales and (2) the disruptions caused by the covid-19 pandemic.  This data can be found: 

Other useful information 

Local Authority Guidance: 


From 2016-17 onwards, the educational outcomes for care leavers are no longer captured.  However, it is possible to retrieve information by linking to the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) dataset, using the ALF or IRN from the primary Children Looked After collection (LACW) in SAIL.  This allows the number of GCSEs attained by an individual and the grades that they achieved in each subject to be obtained.  

Aggregate data from 2003 to 2016 is available on the Stats Wales website:  

The data provisioned in SAIL databank consists of approximately 7,150 records for 7,080 children.