Election policies ‘won’t touch the forgotten third’

The report, published this morning by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, says that politicians who are serious about addressing social mobility and the shortage of people progressing within vocational education “need to do more for the third of young people who are not able to access level 3 qualifications and get forgotten”. “The policies put forward by parties to date do not address this group of people,” it adds. Tes reports.

The authors –  Jo Blanden, Sandra McNally and Gill Wyness – find that the T levels, due to be introduced from next year, and reforms of higher education would “not touch the bottom third of students who each year fail to achieve a grade 4 in GCSE English and mathematics”. These pupils, the report goes on to say, will usually go to colleges of further education to enrol in low-level qualifications at level 2 or below. 

They add that one major barrier to progressing to further education comes from poor English language results at GCSE, with research showing that narrowly missing the threshold in English language decreases the probability of enrolling in a higher-level qualification by at least 9 percentage points. There is a similarly large impact on the probability of achieving a higher academic or vocational qualification by age 19.

“In a well-functioning education system, there would be ladders for the marginal pupil – or at least alternative educational options with good prospects… Politicians who are serious about addressing social mobility and the shortage of people progressing within vocational education need to do more for the third of young people who are not able to access level 3 qualifications and get forgotten. The policies put forward by parties to date do not address this group of people.”

Read more findings from the report Election policies ‘won’t touch the forgotten third’ 

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

 

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