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17+ participation, attainment and progression in London

  • By anna

The quality of 17+ participation in the English education and training system is becoming a key indicator of its ability to promote sustained educational participation up to age of 18 in an era of Raising the Participation Age (RPA). Just staying-on post-16 for a short period is not enough. As more young people continue in education and training at 16, so the duration and quality of their post-16 participation and the degree to which they can add value to their pre-16 attainment levels becomes increasingly important for them personally as well as a key measure of system success. It is vital that young Londoners are supported to stay on in a meaningful course of study not just for one year post-16, but for two or even three in order to equip them to progress to either higher study or employment.

Three detailed research reports from the Institute of Education explore these issues more deeply and identify the risk factors affecting the participation, retention and attainment of young people 17+, and the strategies for mitigating those risks.

The key issues, risk factors and strategies from these detailed reports have been brought together in an overarching summary report that highlights the key findings from the entire research programme and makes recommendations to address those findings.

Paper 1. What is happening with 17+ participation - Schools in London

Report 2. What is happening with 17+ participation - Risk factors and strategies to support students in schools

The ‘quality’ of 17+ participation in the English education and training system is becoming a key indicator of its ability to promote sustained educational participation up to age of 18/19 in an era of Raising the Participation Age (RPA). Just staying-on post-16 for a short period is not enough. As more young people continue in education and training at 16, so the duration and quality of their post-16 participation and the degree to which they can add value to their pre-16 attainment levels becomes increasingly important for them personally as well as a key measure of system success.

It is vital that young Londoners are supported to stay on in a meaningful course of study not just for one year post-16, but for two or even three in order to equip them to progress to either higher study or employment.

In this regard, London appears to face some challenges. London schools perform relatively well pre-16 in terms of GCSE attainment, including with young people from different economic and social backgrounds. However, post-16 the picture appears more mixed. There are high levels of post-16 participation in full-time study, although low rates of participation in work-based learning and apprenticeship. And, while London institutions compare well nationally in terms of Level 3 completion (i.e. two A Levels or equivalent) by the age of 19, they lag behind in terms of Level 3 attainment scores, notably points per entry and points per student, which remain behind the national average. The advantage that London enjoys in terms of pre-16 general education attainment is thus largely being lost in post-16 Level 3 study.

In the light of this complex picture, London Councils commissioned the Centre for Post-14 Research and Innovation at the Institute of Education, University of London (IOE) to work with London boroughs and MIME Consulting (an organisation that specialises in data analysis) to explore the dynamics of ‘17+ participation, attainment and progression’ and to suggest a range of strategies that could be pursued by London boroughs to increase the ‘quality’ of 17+ participation for young people in the capital.

Report 3.  What is happening with 17+ participation - Colleges in London