Young people's education choices and progression to higher education

A comparison of A-Level and Non-A-Level students in Key Stage 5, their subject choices and transitions to university

Bursnall M, Naddeo A, Speckesser S | Report 513 | Institute for Employment Studies | Jan 2019

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This study analyses students' choices when leaving Key Stage 4 (KS4) to Key Stage 5 (KS5) for pupils progressing to either academic A-Level or vocational 'Non-A-Level' Level 3 programmes. 

Using school-level data (published by the Department for Education) and linked administrative data, which follow 650,000 pupils leaving English secondary schools in 2009/10 until 2012/13, the report describes the educational routes chosen after KS4, ie Non-A-Level, A-Level or mixed Level 3 education, and subject specialisation. It then explains their association with progression to higher education.