School performance and completion of upper secondary school in the child welfare population in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
This is an author's accepted manuscript of an article published in dæhlen, m. (2015). school performance and completion of upper secondary school in the child welfare population in norway. nordic social work research, (5)3 [copyright taylor & francis], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/2156857 x.2015.1042019.
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Original versionDæhlen, M. (2015). School performance and completion of upper secondary school in the child welfare population in Norway. Nordic Social Work Research, (5)3 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2156857X.2015.1042019
A vast amount of research has shown a persistent educational disadvantage in the child welfare population. Studies have argued that the less successful educational progression of child welfare clients is due to poor school performance. However, few studies have examined this empirically. In this article, I examine the relationship between school performance in compulsory school and completion of upper secondary school through analyses of population data for child welfare clients in Norway. The present study concerns all child welfare clients, i.e. both child welfare clients who have received assistance measures in the home and child welfare clients who have received out-of-home care. These results are compared with those of a sample from the general population. We know from previous research that school performance is influential in the transition from lower secondary to upper secondary school, and that academically weak students from less advantaged backgrounds usually attempt the vocational track. In order to reach the Norwegian goal of educational equity, school performance should be of less importance on the vocational track. Consequently, I assumed that low-achievers have higher probability of completing the vocational than the academic track. The results show that low-achievers complete more often the vocational track than the academic track. However, the vocational track’s potential for including low-achievers seems less applicable to child welfare clients.