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Does what you study at age 14-16 matter for educational transitions post-16?

Moulton, VG; Sullivan, A; Henderson, M; Anders, J; (2018) Does what you study at age 14-16 matter for educational transitions post-16? Oxford Review of Education , 44 , Article Special Issue: Inequalities and the Curriculum. 10.1080/03054985.2018.1409975. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper considers whether subject choice at 14–16 influences post-16 transitions, taking into account prior academic attainment and school characteristics, and if so, whether this accounts for socioeconomic, gender, and ethnic differences in access to post-16 education. We consider post-16 progression to full-time education, A-levels, and studying two or more facilitating subjects at A-level. We use ‘Next Steps’, a study of 16,000 people born in England in 1989–1990, linked to administrative education records (the National Pupil Database). We find that students pursuing an EBacc-eligible curriculum at 14–16 had a greater probability of progression to all post-16 educational outcomes, while the reverse was true for students taking an applied GCSE subject. Curriculum differences did not explain the social class differences in post-16 progression, but an academic curriculum was equally valuable for working-class as for middle-class pupils. Pursuing an EBacc-eligible curriculum particularly strongly increased the chances of girls and white young people staying in the educational pipeline, whereas applied subjects were particularly detrimental for girls. An EBacc-eligible curriculum at age 14–16 increased the chances of studying subjects preferred by Russell Group universities at A-level.

Type: Article
Title: Does what you study at age 14-16 matter for educational transitions post-16?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2018.1409975
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2018.1409975
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Subject choice, EBacc, applied subjects, curriculum, post-16 transitions
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership > Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10038501
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