Post-Compulsory Education in England: Choices and Implications
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. In their paper Hupkau et al scrutinise post-16 vocational options using linked administrative data to track decisions made by all students in England who left compulsory education after having undertaken the national examination at age 16 in the year 2009/10 and tracking them up to the age of 21. Their findings illustrate the strong inequality apparently generated by routes chosen at age 17, even whist controlling for prior attainment and schooling up to that point.