Children who go into care say the move brings some emotional stability but their schoolwork suffers, a survey in Lothian has found.
Researchers from Edinburgh University who questioned 27 young people say that conferences called to discuss children had no representative from the education service, the region's education committee heard on Wednesday.
They recommend that meetings are held at a time which allows a school representative to attend.
Schools should be alerted as soon as care procedures are started, a report prepared for the education and social work departments states. A teacher should be appointed to liaise with care agencies and the social work department.
Children told the researchers that they wanted "someone to talk to" in school.