Document Abstract

The contrasting characteristics and destinations of GCSE lower attainers in English core city regions

Examines the characteristics and destinations of GCSE lower attainers in English core city regions. Defines ‘low attainers’ as young people who did not achieve grade 4/C or above in both English and maths at the end of Key Stage 4. Explains that achieving these grades provides access to many academic courses, vocational courses and apprenticeships. Uses Department of Education data for five cohorts of learners, and presents data on what these young people went on to do after completing Key Stage 4. Includes data for Birmingham, Bristol, West Yorkshire, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield, and London. Discusses the scale of lower attainment and examines what proportion of young people did not achieve the C/4 benchmark. Focuses on differences in lower attainment within Greater Manchester and Newcastle city regions. Explores how the characteristics of the lower attainers differed between city regions. Provides information on: the proportion of lower attainers eligible for Free School Meals; the proportion of young people with special educational needs; the ethnic composition of lower attainers; and the proportion of lower attainers for whom English is an additional language (EAL). Looks at the post-16 transitions of lower attainers to different types of provision. Examines the progress made by lower attainers in English and maths during the 16-18 phase and considers the impact of the type of provision on experiences and outcomes.


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Sanne Velthuis
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University of Manchester

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