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Post-compulsory education in England: choices and implications

Author

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  • Hupkau, Claudia
  • McNally, Sandra
  • Ruiz-Valenzuela, Jenifer
  • Ventura, Guglielmo

Abstract

Most students do not follow the ‘academic track’ (i.e. A-levels) after leaving school and only about a third of students go to university before the age of 20. Yet progression routes for the majority that do not take this path but opt for vocational post-compulsory education are not as well-known, which partly has to do with the complexity of the vocational education system and the difficulty of deciphering available data. If we are to tackle long-standing problems of low social mobility and a long tail of underachievers, it is essential that post-16 vocational options come under proper scrutiny. This paper is a step in that direction. We use linked administrative data to track decisions made by all students in England who left compulsory education after having undertaken the national examination – the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) – at age 16 in the year 2009/10. We track them up to the age of 21, as they progress through the education system and (for some) into the labour market. We categorise the many different types of post-16 qualifications into several broad categories and we look at the probability of achieving various educational and early labour market outcomes, conditional on the path chosen at age 17. We also take into account the influence of demographics, prior attainment and the secondary school attended. Our findings illustrate the strong inequality apparently generated by routes chosen at age 17, even whilst controlling for prior attainment and schooling up to that point.

Suggested Citation

  • Hupkau, Claudia & McNally, Sandra & Ruiz-Valenzuela, Jenifer & Ventura, Guglielmo, 2017. "Post-compulsory education in England: choices and implications," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 78198, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:78198
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/78198/
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Steven Mcintosh, 2006. "Further Analysis of the Returns to Academic and Vocational Qualifications," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(2), pages 225-251, April.
    2. Gregg, Paul & Tominey, Emma, 2005. "The wage scar from male youth unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 487-509, August.
    3. Claudia Hupkau & Sandra McNally & Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela & Guglielmo Ventura, 2017. "Post-Compulsory Education in England: Choices and Implications," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 240(1), pages 42-57, May.
    4. repec:cep:cverdp:001 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Claudia Hupkau & Sandra McNally & Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela & Guglielmo Ventura, 2017. "Post-Compulsory Education in England: Choices and Implications," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 240(1), pages 42-57, May.
    2. repec:cep:cverdp:014 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Martin McGuigan & Sandra McNally & Gill Wyness, 2016. "Student Awareness of Costs and Benefits of Educational Decisions: Effects of an Information Campaign," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 482-519.
    4. Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra & Ruiz-Valenzuela, Jenifer, 2018. "Entry Through the Narrow Door: The Costs of Just Failing High Stakes Exams," IZA Discussion Papers 11476, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. repec:cep:cverdp:015 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:cep:cepisp:03 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:cep:cverdp:004 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    post-16 education; progression routes;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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