We look at the different options pupils face after GCSEs and how they affect employability and earnings

Young people are taking fewer A-Levels as qualification reforms kick in and per-student spending falls

Post-16 education is in a period of flux, with major qualification reforms and a drop in per-student spending. Reformed A-Levels began to be introduced from September 2015, with a concurrent decoupling of AS-Levels. And, as the IFS have reported [PDF], spending per student in school sixth forms and further education has been falling since 2010/11. [...]

By | May 18th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

Are 19-year-olds really becoming less qualified?

Aficionados of DfE Statistical First Releases (SFRs) were shocked to their very core a couple of weeks ago with the revelation that the percentage of 19-year-olds qualified to Level 2 had fallen for the first time since records began. In the real world this equates to young people achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C [...]

By | April 14th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision, School accountability|

The equivalence of A-Levels and BTECs

* Updated 3rd April 2017 following helpful feedback from UCAS* Last week, the Higher Education Policy Institute published a report on BTECs and university admissions [PDF]. It recognised that much of the increase in the proportion of young people achieving Level 3 – A-Levels or equivalents – by age 19 (see Table 3 here, XLSX) [...]

By | February 28th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

Social and ethnic inequalities in choice available and choices made at age 16

This morning the Social Mobility Commission published our research examining the choice of courses and institution made by students at age 16. We could see there were differences in the choices made by social background, ethnicity and gender of the student and wanted to measure the extent to which these arose through differences in: GCSE [...]

By | December 5th, 2016|Admissions, Post-16 provision, Pupil demographics, Reports|

Provisional KS4 data 2016: What can we learn from destinations data?

Alongside the publication this morning of data covering EBacc entries and Attainment 8/Progress 8, a statistical first release (SFR) has been published on the destinations of the 2014/15 Key Stage 4 cohort. This shows that 91 per cent were in a “sustained education destination” during the first two terms of 2015/16, and 94 per cent [...]

By | October 13th, 2016|Post-16 provision, Pupil demographics, School accountability|

GCSE results day 2016: The key trends in five charts

At a headline level, results have fallen this year A*-A results were down from 22.3 per cent of all results last year, to 21.7 per cent of all results this year. On the headline A*-C measure, results were down from 70.8 per cent to 69.5 per cent. (Figures given here and in the rest of [...]

By | August 25th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision, School accountability|

Repeat After ‘E’: the treadmill of post-16 GCSE maths and English retakes

Today will not be a happy occasion for the typical 17 year old re-taking GCSE maths and/or English. The government now requires them to continue studying these subjects if they did not achieve a grade C at age 16 and many are entered for these qualifications again after just a year of additional study. For [...]

By | August 25th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

A-Level results day 2016: Entries and grades in the new ‘decoupled’ AS-Levels

This year’s AS-Level results include the first set of decoupled subjects, which won't count towards English students' final A-Level grades next year. Declines in UK entry numbers in the decoupled subjects range from 11% (business studies) to 33% (art and design). Why not enter for AS-Level? Examination fees cost money, and schools’ post-16 budgets are already stretched from funding reforms which have [...]

By | August 18th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

A-Level results day 2016: Did a good summer for Welsh football herald a bad summer for Welsh boys’ results?

A-Level examination sittings, which stretch from mid-May through to the end of June, often overlap with an international football tournament. Unfortunately, football lovers, who are more likely to be boys than girls, can find this a distraction from their revision schedule. Economists at the University of Bristol have noticed how this has damaged English boys [...]

By | August 18th, 2016|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|