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To think that A level results will get worse?

(13 Posts)
grapejuicerocks Thu 11-Jun-15 09:36:28

Up to now people have stayed on at school for the sole purpose of gaining A levels. It was a choice.

Aibu to think that now the education leaving age has risen, there will be plenty of reluctant learners who will hinder the progress of those who really want to be there and learn?
I know that the further education doesn't have to be at school, but what is happening in reality? Are those that wouldn't have stayed at school all being proactive and doing courses at college that they enjoy and are committed to 100% or is there a proportion staying unwillingly at school and making sixth form harder for teachers and pupils? Are college courses being affected in the same way?

Or are these reluctant learners being occupied doing something else I am unaware of, and it is not a problem at all?

knittingdad Thu 11-Jun-15 09:52:19

I suspect, though I do not know, that most of the young people now staying on in education post-16 will not have done well enough in their GCSEs to be accepted onto A-level courses.

Thus they will either be studying to re-take their GCSEs, or they will be on one of the vocational options, such as NVQs.

Students in A-level classes will not be affected, as far as I can tell.

grapejuicerocks Thu 11-Jun-15 10:10:17

Hopefully that is the case. Unless schools in practice have to accept lower grades that they would like, in order to do something with the increased numbers?
Does anyone know if there are specific resist classes or is anyone wanting to resist, just joining in with current year 11 (GCSE) classes?

Where have all the disruptive pupils gone? Are vocational courses being affected?

ilovesooty Thu 11-Jun-15 10:15:41

The disruptive pupils will be in school unless they are being educated elsewhere or they are working.

grapejuicerocks Thu 11-Jun-15 10:20:27

Working where sooty ? As can be seen I am woefully ignorant in this area, hence asking the question.

Perhaps I should have worded my title as

"Is raising the school leaving age working?

grapejuicerocks Thu 11-Jun-15 10:21:58

Or better still

"Is raising the education leaving age, working?"

TheFairyCaravan Thu 11-Jun-15 10:25:07

I don't think this will have an impact on A level results. The fact that the exams are now linear, instead of modular, might.

The youngsters who haven't got the grades to get on to the A level courses won't get on them. Any decent school or college won't allow it because they won't cope, they will steer them towards courses or apprenticeships that are more suited to them.

LazyLouLou Thu 11-Jun-15 10:30:53

Theoretically they cannot be working full time. However 'education' is loosely interpreted and the ramifications, over and above being kicked off a course, of non attendance have never really been spelled out.

It is working, if you measure success by the number of students on vocational courses. By March we had capped all of our courses, started waiting lists and have, for the first time ever, had to tell people not to apply late as our waiting lists are very, very long.

We can't afford to hire more staff, we cannot room the students we already have planned, we are at capacity. So, if that is your measure, yes, it is working.

It is far too early to see what the end result is for the students and their employability. But one positive (if you ignore the crys of 'slave labour') is that there are a wide range of apprenticeships coming on line.

knittingdad Thu 11-Jun-15 10:41:09

Around the parts of London where I was educated the Further Education (FE) colleges all had post-16 GCSE courses, long enough ago that I don't care to mention when.

You seem to be viewing things in a school-centred way. I don't think that secondary schools which have sixth forms for A-levels will be obliged to accommodate all of their pupils who have taken GCSEs the year before. If they do not offer specific vocational or post-16 GCSE courses then pupils looking for those courses will have to find places at FE colleges.

grapejuicerocks Thu 11-Jun-15 10:47:59

I agree that I was looking at it originally, more from a school point of view but now I'm just interested in the longer term effects generally.

At 16 there are already a lot of disaffected pupils. I'm just interested in how making these kids continue their education, will impact on the kids who really do want to continue their education.
Apprenticeships could work but I don't know how widely available these are and how effective these are - apart from the obvious argument of cheap/slave labour.

LazyLouLou Thu 11-Jun-15 11:24:42

Badly in some cases. We have classes full of kids who are only there because they have to be and cannot see the point of it. Many choose a course for no other reason than it is there! Obviously, as an FE College we have the ability to say no, but we have a fine line to walk to meet the funding expectations (remember we get paid for this year's students next year and we are assessed for any increase/decrease in 1, 2 or 3 years, depending on the length of their course).

As for apprenticeships, they are becoming more widely available as providers and exam boards can assess the needs and niches. Remember someone has to write up the academic part of the course, to meet all of the usual criteria. Then there has to be a comprehensive list of practical skills to be met too. So they aren't easy/quick to design. Then you have to have staff that can teach them and employers to take them on.

A lot of people put a lot of time and effort into setting up and maintaining apprenticeships, the aim is to impart a skillset that an employer needs, many of our employers take on an apprentice with the aim of giving them a job at the end - though I do know that others don't, retail, hairdressing etc seem to be more of a numbers game, which is probably where slave labour argument comes in.

My understanding is that the new apprenticeships will further diversify, become increasing niche and will, eventually, do the job we would want them to: set up a workforce with specific skills sets for specific jobs plus a higher level of transferable skills, oh, and don't forget higher levels of numeracy and literacy!

Obviously I am not holding my breath smile

LazyLouLou Thu 11-Jun-15 11:33:14

knittingdad oddly 3 years ago schools were desperate to keep as many of their students as possible. This enabled them to grow their VI forms, to staff them and increase their provision.

We had parents asking us, FE College, why their kids could not come to us, it as disgusting that their choice had been taken away, etc etc. This was a national phenomenon and various parties had to get involved to ensure schools stopped misinforming, deliberately or in error.

Last year something changed. Those same schools started to barr the less able/more disruptive students from their VI Form and we got a lot of applications for our L2, 1 year courses. We also got a lot of students who 'only' achieved Cs applying for our A level centre. Schools now seem to have built up their numbers and can now be quite picky... we, apparently, can have the rest!

This has changed the general feeling in some of our classes too. We now have a lot of students who have been told by their schools that they are not clever enough - in deed if not in word!

This is really divisive and many students are becoming really quite savvy and can give you chapter and verse on their rights and expectations. Sadly they can also cite long list of how and when they were consigned to the bin!

It will get worse before it gets better, I am sure of it. Too much focus on academic achievement and nowhere near enough praise for vocational achievements.

grapejuicerocks Fri 12-Jun-15 11:23:26

Thanks lazy You've made some really interesting points. I did think that there had to be some negative effects. Let's hope that in the long term, the positives outweigh the negatives. The apprenticeships seem to be the way forward as long as they really do marry the needs of the student and the employer. Fingers crossed.

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