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Vocational courses becoming more popular

25/04/2016 Joanna

The number of students choosing vocational courses for GCSEs and A-levels is on the rise, which is improving the overall numbers of people achieving level two and level three qualifications by the age of 19, according to a report from the Department for Education (DfE).

The number of people who gained level three qualifications through A-levels decreased by 0.3 per cent last year, while those who did so through vocational qualifications rose by 0.8 per cent.

In addition to this, the number of pupils who achieved level two in English and maths by the age of 19 has now reached 70 per cent, an increase from 67.8 per cent in 2014.

The number of students who didn't reach level two in these subjects by the age of 16, but achieved the necessary grades by the age of 19, also increased from 16.9 per cent in 2014 to 22.3 per cent in 2015.

Mark Dawe, incoming chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, said: "The data for vocational qualifications is encouraging, especially in respect of the increases in attainment for English and maths.

"We believe the success in English and maths is thanks to learners being put on appropriate programmes for their learning and in particular functional skills at the core of work-based learning provision."

The DfE report also highlighted an improved outlook for children with special educational needs (SEN).

In 2015, 65.7 per cent of SEN students achieved level two by the age of 19 - an increase of 0.5 per cent from 2014.

This is excellent news for SEN students, who will benefit from wider options to allow them to gain qualifications. 

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