Educational participation post-16: a longitudinal analysis of intentions and outcomes
The issue of levels of participation in post-compulsory education has been emphasised by the current policy initiatives to increase the age to which some form of participation is compulsory. One of the acknowledged weaknesses of research in the field of children's intentions with regard to participation is the lack of longitudinal data. This paper offers a longitudinal analysis using the Youth Survey from the British Household Panel Survey. The results show that most children can express intentions with regard to future participation very early in their secondary school careers and that these intentions are good predictors of actual behaviour five years later. Intentions to stay on are more consistent than intentions to leave and most children who finally leave at 16 have at some point said they want to remain in education post-16. The strongest association with participation levels is attainment at GCSE. However, there are also influences of gender and parental background and these remain, even after attainment is held constant. The results show the value of focusing on intentions for participation at a very early stage of children's school careers and also the importance of current attempts to reform curriculum and assessment for the 14-19 age group.
British Journal of Educational Studies
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