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ERIC Number: ED574426
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
Changing the Subject: How Are the EBacc and Attainment 8 Reforms Changing Results? Research Brief. Edition 13
Allen, Rebecca; Thompson, Dave
Sutton Trust
Secondary schools have managed significant changes in the Key Stage 4 curriculum they offer in response to changes in performance tables and accountability measures from 2010 onwards. In this piece, the authors assess how these changes are starting to affect the educational choices and successes of pupils at the ages of 16 and 18. This is accomplished by following a cohort of pupils who took their GCSEs in 2012-13 and A-levels or other Key Stage 5 qualifications in 2014-15, comparing their outcomes to a cohort passing through the education system three years earlier. Some schools have moved faster than others to realign their subject offer to suit the new accountability measures. This research brief focuses on 300 schools that implemented major curriculum change over the three-year period 2009-10 to 2012-13. Of particular interest are the outcomes for pupil premium pupils and those with lower prior attainment because there is some concern that a more "traditional" or "academic" curriculum could stretch their efforts over too many subjects or into subjects for which they are less motivated or well-suited. Key findings include: (1) 300 secondary schools--"curriculum change" schools--transformed their Key Stage 4 curriculum between 2010 and 2013 in response to government policy, achieving a rise in the proportion of pupils entering the EBacc from 8% to 48%; (2) Pupils at these schools largely benefited from these changes; (3) Those pupils who attended the "curriculum change" schools were 1.7 percentage points more likely to be taking an A level or other level 3 qualification after the age of 16 and 1.8 percentage points less likely to have dropped out of education entirely; (4) Pupil premium students benefited most from the changes at these schools, essentially because low and middle prior attainment students increased take-up of EBacc subjects most; (5) Pupil premium students still do not have fair access to the EBacc curriculum subjects nationally; and (6) A survey of headteachers confirms that delivering the EBacc to 90% of students is beyond the reach of many schools given specialist teacher shortages. These headteachers believe that it is not appropriate for many students.
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Sutton Trust (England)
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom