Level 1 and 2 Attainment in English and mathematics

This Statistical First Release (SFR) provides information on the English and maths qualifications entered and achieved by 16-18 students during Key Stage 5 who did not achieve a GCSE grade A* to C by the end of key stage 4. Data is displayed for the last 3 years to provide trends. National figures provide information on all students who did not achieve A* to C by the end of KS4, including those identified as studying part-time and work-based learners. Institution breakdowns only include full-time students in schools and colleges normally reported in 16- 18 performance tables.

Click on the infographic to explore in more detail.

Entries

Out of the 632,676 students completing Key Stage 4 in the academic year 2012/13, nearly a third (33.03%) did not achieve a GCSE grade A*-C in English whilst a slightly smaller proportion (28.19%) did not achieve a GCSE grade A*-C in maths. Of those students taking a Level 1 or Level 2 qualification in English or maths during their Key Stage 5 studies, more students chose a GCSE in English compared to those in maths who tended to choose a lower level qualification.

Achievement

In 2014/15,13.2% of those who did not achieve a GCSE grade A*-C in English during Key Stage 4 went on to achieve a GCSE grade A*-C during Key Stage 5 compared to only 7.1% achieving the same in maths. However, approximately half of the students did go on to achieve a different Level 1 or Level 2 qualification(46.5% in English and 53.5% in maths). Across the last three years, there has been an increase in the proportion of students who achieved a GCSE in English during Key Stage 5 whilst in maths a larger proportion of students achieved lower level qualifications.

Level of Learning

Over a quarter (28%) of students achieved a higher level of learning in English by the end of Key Stage 5 compared to the end of Key Stage 4 with less than a fifth(19.1%) achieving a lower level of learning. However in maths it is quite the opposite, where less than a fifth (18.3%) achieved a higher level of learning and over a quarter (27%)achieved a lower level of learning. Over the last three years, the proportion of students achieving a higher level of learning English has been increasing across most provision types. In particular, Local Authority Mainstream Schools have increased the number of those achieving a higher level of learning in English by nearly 20%.

At Learning Plus UK, we were interested to see that even though since August 2014, there has been a requirement for students without a GCSE grade A*-C to continue to work towards these qualifications as part of their funding conditions, the number of students entering for a Level 1 or Level 2 qualification in English or maths that year did not increase particularly sharply. In fact, whilst from 2012/13 to 2013/14 there was a 5.6% increase, in 2014/15 there was only a 1.6% increase from the previous year. This condition was in fact revised in August 2015, stating that any student with a grade D must study towards GCSEs rather than stepping stone qualifications which we would expect to further impact the number of entries for each qualification.

The next data release will be the first to include those students who had to resit GCSE if they had a grade D – therefore we would expect the number of GCSE entries to increase. Do people think that we will see higher levels of attainment too? We’d love to hear what you think – let us know by joining the discussion on our forum, Twitter or Facebook.

Next year, this SFR will be replaced with the new Progress in English and maths measure, appearing in the 2017 performance tables. We’re looking forward to investigating the outcomes of these students in greater detail,and hope to bring you an even more in-depth Big Numbers next year.