More disadvantaged children staying in education after 18

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New DfE figures show a rise in the numbers of children from disadvantaged backgrounds staying in education after the age of 18 - progressing to university or vocational training after leaving sixth form or college. More than 404,000 pupils across the country are now taking high-level qualifications, an increase of 1% since last year and 6.4% since 2010.

The proportion of A level or equivalent students who were eligible for free school meals (FSM) at school progressing on to a sustained place in education has improved by 4 percentage points since 2010.

The progression rate for FSM-eligible children taking A level or equivalent qualifications is at its highest on record. The figures also show a rise in positive outcomes for students after both GCSE and A level stage of education (key stages 4 and 5).

At GCSE, Converter academies are leading the way in strong academic standards, outperforming the national average by 7.2 percentage points, with 64.3% of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEs at A* to C, including English and maths.

There has also been a significant increase of nearly 88,000 pupils taking the core academic subjects compared to 2010. This includes a significant rise in the number of pupils entering EBACC sciences - up by more than 46,000 since 2010, including a rise of more than 28,000 pupils compared to last year’s results.

At A Level, more than half of entries are now in the key facilitating subjects which universities and employers say keep people’s options open.

More girls are choosing to study science and maths at A level - with the number studying these subjects rising across the board compared to 2010, showing that no subject is off-limits because of gender.

More pupils are staying on for post-16 study. More than 404,000 pupils across the country are now taking these high-level qualifications, an increase of 1% since last year and 6.4% since 2010 - suggesting that the government’s drive to raise the participation age is already beginning to positively influence young people’s behaviour, encouraging them to pursue their studies at a higher level.

Professional Development Today
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