GCSE grade boundaries in English may do more than just provoke protest from ambitious parents. It may also directly affect employment prospects for young people.
Research from the Centre for Cities has examined relative pupil performance across UK cities to show the importance of English and Maths in providing a good grounding for employment, and in helping consolidate the strength of local economies. The think tank found a strong relationship at city level between the proportion of young people achieving at least 5 A*-C GCSEs including English and maths (excluding equivalents) and the level of youth unemployment.
Elsewhere in the research they found that pupil background is a strong determinant of educational attainment, but that schools in some areas are demonstrating that disadvantage can be overcome. In London schools for example, social background and previous educational attainment do not necessarily pre-determine GCSE results. Over 47% of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds in London achieve at least 5 A*-C GCSEs (or equivalents) including English and maths, compared with 35% nationally.
For more information about the research visit www.centreforcities.org/topmarks
A new report from the Royal Academy of Engineering has brought together evidence to show the positive impact of engineers on economic growth, but with a warning that the UK does not produce enough of them.
The report argues that around 1.25 million science, engineering and technology professionals and technicians are needed by 2020, including a high proportion of engineers, to support the UK’s economic recovery.
The minimum number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates required just to maintain the status quo is 100,000 a year with a further 60,000 individuals with Level 3 STEM qualifications for the period 2012-2020. However, only 90,000 STEM students currently graduate annually and, as around a quarter of engineering students choose non-science, engineering or technology occupations, there is already a shortfall.
Read the full report at www.raeng.org.uk/jobsandgrowth
Young people are generally among the most disadvantaged groups in the labour market because they lack the experience of the workplace and the job-specific skills that employers ask for. A report by the CIPD claims that recruitment practices may be adding to the problem.
The report found that despite employers recognising their important role in helping tackle youth unemployment, a quarter have not employed any young people aged 16 – 24 in the last year. They cite ‘fear’ and ‘lack of habit’ as major reasons, as well as, “routine requests” for graduate level knowledge and skills, even if they are not required for jobs.
The report explores employers’ perceptions of young people and sets out the business case for employing them, arguing the five key benefits are the:
- Opportunity to draw on significant talent;
- Unique skills, new ideas and enthusiasm young people can offer;
- Ability to harness the benefits of a truly diverse workforce;
- Positive effect on brand and reputation; and,
- Cost-effectiveness of employing young workers.
For the full analysis click here.
With the recent controversy over GCSE grading and Government’s bold announcement of its intention to replace GCSEs in England, it would be easy to assume that the proposals are all wrapped up, when in fact, they still only at the consultation stage.
Through its proposals the Government plans to restore what is describes as, “rigour and confidence to our examination system”, with the introduction of English Baccalaureate Certificates in English, maths, sciences, history, geography and languages. It’s seeking the views of schools, colleges, universities, employers, curriculum and assessment experts, and the general public on how qualifications can support all young people to have high aspirations, and the, “best possible opportunities” to progress to further and higher education and into employment.
The proposals have provoked strong reactions on all sides, ranging from those who think the changes would take us back to a ‘bygone age’ and are driven solely by ideology, to those who think the changes do not go far enough. Most recently, there has been criticism that non-EBacc subjects are being squeezed in the curriculum, and even more strongly worded opposition from the leader of one teaching union who has labelled the plans a “disaster”.
There are also those who have questioned the whole idea of an exam at age 16, believing a better balance of skills and knowledge is needed. Among them the CBI, who has commented:
“Though an examination system should engage and stretch young people, there is a wider debate to be had, beyond the nature and function of exams at 16, focused on the outcomes society expects of our education system to deliver between the ages of 14 and 18.”
With EBacc subjects poised to become the critical core of a future National Curriculum for young people in England, the Government has published its latest research paper on the impact of the EBacc on schools and pupil choice.
Over 600 schools responded to the survey, carried out by IPSOS Mori on behalf of DfE.
The researchers found that adoption of EBacc subjects seems to have reached “steady state”, with 46% of 2011 Year 9 pupils and 49% this year due to take the EBacc combination of GCSE subjects in the forthcoming summer exam series. This contrasts with 22% in the 2010 summer exams. Equally as dramatic, many schools (87% up from 48%) feel they’ve made most of the changes needed to accommodate EBacc subjects.
The report also shows that while the EBacc has inevitably had some impact on curriculum offers and pupil choice, the traditional virtues of choosing a subject you’re good at and which can help you along your preferred career path, remain strong:
“While most recognised that the EBacc subjects were in general the most useful subjects for some pupils, pupils and parents/carers firmly believed that choices had to be down to the individual’s preferences and abilities.”
Though there have been big surges in student numbers taking science, history and geography, it seems some subjects have faired less well, having to make way for EBacc subjects. The dropping in some schools of creative, technical and vocational options continues to raise real concerns for many about the nature of the curriculum offer for some pupils.
Search IEBE news
- RT @DavidKnightUCLO: To create a positive future for young people schools need to link with businesses more & businesses need to link with … 3 days ago
- RT @DavidKnightUCLO: This year Unity has won 2 awards & gained a quality accreditation for its #communityengagement & supporting young peop… 3 days ago
- The IEBE Daily is out! http://t.co/LH9gVsxxof 6 days ago
- The IEBE Daily is out! http://t.co/LH9gVsxxof ▸ Top stories today via @wiredteachers @wesstreeting 1 week ago
- The IEBE Daily is out! http://t.co/WQJlgFtIp2 2 weeks ago
Education Act 2011
education business links
IEBE Platform for Excellence
Key Stage 4
National Careers Service
Newland School for Girls
Work & Pensions Committee
Youth Contract AEBE (6)
AEBE holder events (2)
Associate level (2)
Business Ready (11)
Education Ready (11)
IEBE Affiliation (3)
IEBE Approved (7)
IEBE Corporate Affiliates (2)
IEBE events (1)
IEBE in the news (3)
IEBE Masterclasses (2)
IEBE news alerts (5)
IEBE news releases (3)
IEBE Platform for Excellence (7)
IEBE views (1)
Professional status (6)
Quality awards (15)
Updates & publications (1)