Children in the care of Swindon Borough Council are struggling to get good exam results.

Figures released by the council show that GCSE passes for youngsters it looks after are seriously lower than for Swindon’s pupils as a whole.

The figures given to Labour councillor Jim Robbins show that in 2018 just 10 per cent of looked after children achieved what the council calls a strong pass in GCSE English and maths, a grade of five or higher. That compares to 39 per cent of the entire Swindon candidate group.

For ‘standard passes’ at grade four and above, 20 percent of looked after children achieved that in English and maths compared to 61 per cent of the rest of the cohort.

The all Swindon results are broadly in line with national figures.

The report points out the 20 per cent pass for grade four or above in English and maths is above national figure of 17.5 for looked after children.

The 20 per cent of looked after children entered for the English Baccalaureate in 2018 is above the national figure 8.6 per cent and a significant improvement 2017 when none were entered.

Coun Robbins said: “Standard passes including English and Maths. are what you need to be able to get into college or do A-levels.For care leavers, the pass rate drops to just 20 per cent . How can we get these children to have a decent start in life without any qualifications?”

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “The educational attainment of all looked-after children is a priority for the Council, which is why the Swindon Virtual School was set up to monitor and evaluate the progress of children within our schools.

“It regularly checks each child’s personal educational plan and holds schools and academies to account to ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“Although outcomes for children in care are significantly lower compared to those children not in care, results in the key attainment indicators are improving in Swindon and are above the national average.

“This is due, in part, to Swindon Virtual School working with national and local partners to provide schools, academies and educational settings with a range of high quality intervention and training programmes.”

Only Abbey Park School is not an academy or free school and therefore under direct council control.