An exploration of educational outcomes for children with disabilities
Cox, F. & Marshall, A. (2016) British Society of Population Studies (BSPS), Univ of Winchester, UK, 12 - 14 September 2016 [SLS]
Evidence from cross-sectional and panel studies, qualitative research and reports drawn primarily from snapshot Government statistics indicate that children with disabilities face particular barriers to achieving success within and beyond education. However to date little or no longitudinal research has been published investigating the causal relationship between disability and education and employment outcomes. This lack has been noted by WHO in their World Report on Disability (2011) which repeatedly calls for more longitudinal research in order to “allow researchers and policy-makers to understand better the dynamics of disability.” Education is often key to future participation in the labour market; the DWP ‘Fulfilling Potential’ report goes so far as to say that “for those who are born with an impairment or a health condition, education and other early life experiences influence the whole of their life chances.” A lack of robust measures and classification issues make it difficult to accurately estimate the numbers of children with a disability, however DWP statistics suggest that around 7% of children in the UK are covered by the Equality Act (approx. 0.9M children). The inclusion of more detailed health questions in the 2011 Scottish Census, along with the Scottish Longitudinal Study’s linkage to education data from ScotXed has created a unique opportunity to conduct research in this area. This paper presents part of a wider project and investigates the influence of childhood disability – and other possible confounding factors such as type of disability, parental disability and socioeconomic status – on educational attainment.