Effective curriculum practice below level 2 for 16- to 17-year-olds

Williams J, Hadjivassiliou K, Marvell R, Green M, Newton B | Research Report 699 | Department for Education (DFE) | Jul 2017

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In order to understand current, effective provision and delivery for students not yet ready for Level 2 courses in post-16 institutions the Department for Education commissioned two research projects, with aims to inform policy developments around the forthcoming transition year.

This report provides an analysis of course content and curriculum that most effectively supports the progression of students participating in below Level 2 programmes at the age of 16 (defined as those without 5 A*-C grade GCSEs and who are not yet in a position to succeed at Level 2).

The study gathered case studies, which provided rich, contextualised data from selected institutions.

The key research aims were to:

  1. Understand how course choice and curriculum content interact with young people's progression from Level 1 at age 16 to successful outcomes (Level 2, Apprenticeship, Traineeship, employment) at age 17, with a view to providing exemplars of good practice.
  2. Develop hypotheses or models of what works to inform future research.

An annex report presenting the full case studies is also available.