Research and analysis

The impact of key stage 4 vocational courses on disengaged young people's engagement with education 15 to 18

A study into whether offering vocational options in year 10 can increase the number of young people who participate in education.

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Previous research and anecdotal evidence has suggested that offering a broader curriculum, and in particular, vocational qualifications, may motivate young people who have become disengaged from education and improve their subsequent attainment. However, this hypothesis has not been systematically evaluated.

The analyses presented here explore the educational outcomes of disengaged young people from a nationally representative cohort who reported taking vocational courses in year 10 compared to similarly disengaged young people who did not.

The study explored outcomes across a range of different subgroups of young people from the longitudinal study for young people, defined using different characteristics of being disengaged in year 9.