Looked-after children’s GCSE grades fell last year as the education gap with their secondary school peers worsened, according to government statistics. The Department for Education figures also reveal that the proportion of looked-after children and children in need who were persistently absent from school increased in 2017/18. The average Attainment 8 score, which measures average achievement over eight GCSEs with extra weighting given to English and Maths, fell from 19.3 in 2017 to 18.8 in 2018, according to the figures. This has seen the attainment gap between looked-after children and their peers widen slightly over the last two years, from a gap of 25.2 in 2017 to 25.6 in 2018 using this measure. Read more.