A report on the learning outcomes for learners who were on vocational programmes, general education programmes (including A Levels), apprenticeships or adult learning courses between August 2020 and July 2021.
This is the latest release in the series: Outcomes for learners in post-16 education affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
The statistics are published as experimental statistics because they use new methods to understand the academic outcomes for post-16 learners during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. There have been several improvements in methods from the last year. Historic figures have been recalculated in this release with the new methods. They are not comparable with the statistics in the ‘consistent performance measures for post-16 learning’, nor the ‘learner outcome measures for work-based learning and adult learning’ reports.
These statistics cover learners in colleges, school sixth forms and adult learning providers, as well as learners on apprenticeships and the progression from Year 11 into post-16 learning.
- There were large improvements in outcomes for learners in general education (A levels) compared to before the pandemic, but outcomes have been worse for learners on non-level 3 vocational programmes, apprenticeships and adult learning.
- Most of the increase in A2 outcomes came at the higher grades. 27% of A2 learners achieved at least three As, compared to 21% in 2019/20 and 12% in 2018/19.
- Many inequalities in post-16 outcomes widened or resurfaced in 2020/21.
- A2 outcomes fell steeply for learners with Black, African, Caribbean, Black British backgrounds, undoing much of the rise in grades in 2019/20, leading to a large gap in outcomes.
- The rise in A level grades was equivalent to 5 times as many learners living in the least deprived 10% of neighbourhoods going up a grade boundary compared to learners living in the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods.
- Year 11 learners were more likely to take A level programmes and go into sixth forms than before the pandemic, but they were also more likely to move to a different programme or provider, or to drop out of post-16 learning in 2021/22.
- Vocational learners were more likely to stay in post-16 learning than the previous year, and AS completers in colleges were still more likely to continue onto A2 than they were before the pandemic.
Outcomes for learners in post-16 education affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, August 2020 to July 2021 , file type: PDF, file size: 2 MB
Datasets and interactive tools
Outcomes for learners in post-16 education affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, August 2020 to July 2021 , file type: ODS, file size: 160 KB
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