The Skills Commission is pleased to present the first report in its Spotlight series which focuses on specific issues within the skills system.
This report, Spotlight on... young people with below average academic attainment and the skills sector, highlights the pathways that young people are taking through GCSEs, the skills and further education system, and the ways that the government, local authorities and providers can support them, particularly in the light of increasing numbers of young people failing to achieve desired basic subject GCSE grades.
Prime Minister May stated that her new government is making a commitment to improving social mobility. “The mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone”.
However, there has been a significant increase in young people aged 17+ failing to reach the benchmark grades in English and maths, following policy changes mandating young people to retake GCSE maths and English, if they have not achieved a C or above at 16.
Only 26.9% of learners aged 17+ (34,486 of 128,201) who took GCSE English this year got at least a C. Down from 35.1% of the 97,163 learners aged 17+, who achieved a C or above in English last year. That means that 93,715 students aged 17+ failed to meet the benchmark grade in English.
Only 29.5% of learners aged 17+ (51,220 of 173,628) taking GCSE maths achieved a C or above. Down from 35.8% of the 130,979 learners aged 17+, who got at least a C last year. That means that 122,428 students failed to meet the benchmark maths grade.Throughout the Spotlight report, recommendations are made that the government should take seriously if they wish to achieve their mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone.