Most of area’s students gain good GCSEs

Most of this area’s young adults are reaching 19 with good passes in their GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.

Sunday, 24th May 2020, 10:00 am
2,912 19-year-olds in the East Riding had achieved a level 2 qualification by the end of the 2018-19 academic year. Photo: PA Images

However, the Association of School and College Leaders says disadvantaged students are hardest hit by the Government shifting its focus to GCSEs and A-levels over vocational qualifications.

Department for Education data reveals that 2,912 19-year-olds in the East Riding had achieved a level 2 qualification by the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

Level 2 qualifications are five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C, or 9-4, or the equivalents such as apprenticeships, NVQs and diplomas.

It means 87% of young people in the area had level 2 qualifications – up from 86% in 2017-18, and above the national average of 82%.

Across England, level 2 attainment dropped for the fourth consecutive year in 2018-19, from a high of 86% in 2014-15.

The gap between those living in the most and least deprived areas of the country also widened to 18% last year – the largest in eight years.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “The fall in attainment is caused by the Government’s decision to downgrade the importance of some vocational qualifications and AS-levels, and to place a greater focus on GCSEs and A-levels.

“This is a great shame as vocational qualifications and AS-levels serve many students very well, particularly those who face the greatest challenges and often come from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

The same DfE figures show 61% of the 2018-19 cohort in the East Riding achieved a level 3 qualification – two or more A-levels or the equivalents, such as a higher education diplomas or advanced apprenticeships.

A DfE spokesman said the national figures represented an increase compared to 2009-10.

He said: “We have made good progress raising the standard of education and training on offer for young people.

“New, world class T-levels, to be launched in September, will help more young people acquire the skills they need to fulfil their potential.”