ERIC Number: EJ1094214
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Young People and School General Certificate of Secondary Education Attainment: Looking for the "Missing Middle"
Gayle, Vernon; Murray, Susan; Connelly, Roxanne
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v37 n3 p350-370 2016
In Britain, educational qualifications gained at school continue to play an important and central role in young people's educational and employment pathways. Recently there has been growing interest in documenting the lives of "ordinary" young people. In this paper we analyse the Youth Cohort Study of England and Wales in order to better document the experiences of those with "middle" levels of school General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) attainment. The overall pattern of school GCSE attainment is one of increasing levels of performance. GCSE attainment is still highly stratified. Girls performed better than boys, and there were some marked differences in attainment for pupils from the main minority ethnic groups. Most notably, parental socio-economic positions are the most important factor. The analyses fail to persuade us that there are clear boundaries that demark a "middle" category of school GCSE attainment. We conclude that sociologists should study "ordinary" young people; however, school GCSE attainment is best understood as a continuum, and measures such as the number of GCSEs or point scores are preferable.
Descriptors: Secondary School Students, Educational Attainment, Employment, Role of Education, Gender Differences, Minority Group Students, Ethnic Groups, Academic Achievement, Socioeconomic Influences, Foreign Countries, Grades (Scholastic), Regression (Statistics), Cohort Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A