September 23, 2021

One in five youngsters leaves school at 18 without basic exam grades

image

One in five youngsters leaves school at 18 without basic exam grades – up by almost a QUARTER in just two years

  • Nearly one in five youngsters in school until 18 leave without basic qualifications
  • 18 per cent do not leave with at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C
  • Children’s Commissioner says it is hampering chances of apprenticeships or good jobs

By Steve Doughty Social Affairs Correspondent For The Daily Mail

Published: 19:27 EDT, 19 September 2019 | Updated: 20:49 EDT, 19 September 2019

Nearly one in five youngsters who stay in school until the age of 18 leave without basic qualifications, a report said yesterday.

Despite these pupils completing 14 years of education, 18 per cent do not leave with at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C.

The level of failure means nearly 100,000 young people entered adulthood last year without ‘proper’ exam results, the Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield said, hampering their chances of finding apprenticeships or good jobs.

Her report stated: ‘These are children who will have spent 14 years in compulsory education, often having more than £100,000 of public money spent on their education, and yet are leaving the… system without basic benchmark qualifications.’

Despite sixth form pupils completing 14 years of education, 18 per cent do not leave with at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C.

It added: ‘While children are now in education for longer, more of them are failing to get basic qualifications. This means that hundreds of thousands of young people are leaving education without the necessary qualifications to begin certain apprenticeships or start technical or academic courses.’

The report by Commissioner Anne Longfield found that 6.6 per cent of 16 to 18-year-olds were classified as NEETs in 2015, those ‘not in education, employment or training’.

By the end of 2018, this had fallen to 6.3 per cent.

But the report found that 98,799 children, or 18 per cent of those who left school last year at the age of 18 in England, did not leave with five GCSEs at grades A* to C – the benchmark of Level Two qualifications expected of 15 and 16-year-olds.

This marked a 24 per cent rise in two years. The findings also show that children from low income families – those who get free school meals – are especially likely to leave with no qualifications.

The report by Commissioner Anne Longfield found that 6.6 per cent of 16 to 18-year-olds were classified as NEETs in 2015, those ‘not in education, employment or training’

More than one in three in this group – over 28,000 – left without qualifications at all. And nearly half of children with special educational needs do not reach the benchmark by the time they leave school.

School leaving rules were changed in 2015 so that 16-year-olds could no longer leave school except to go into an apprenticeship or training, further education or to divide time between working or volunteering and education or training.

Miss Longfield said the share of pupils leaving school without benchmark qualifications fell continuously from 2005 to 2015 before shooting up after the leaving age was raised.

She said: ‘It is shameful that last year almost 100,000 children in England left education at 18 without proper qualifications.

‘It is particularly unacceptable that children growing up in the poorest areas of the country and children with special educational needs are most likely to leave school without reaching basic levels of attainment.

‘While we should celebrate the progress that is being made in raising standards for millions of children, it should never be an acceptable part of the education system for thousands of children to leave with next to nothing.’

She added: ‘The Government must urgently investigate why the progress that has been made over recent years in closing the attainment gap has stalled and is now going backwards, and commit itself to halving over the next five years the number of children failing to gain a Level Two qualification by the age of 19.’

Advertisement

Read More

Daily Mail

Share
Source: