The NFER blog

Evidence for excellence in education


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Post GCSEs: Are 16-year-olds making informed decisions, or following in their siblings’ footsteps?

recently published online survey of school and college leavers and current university students, undertaken by The Student Room, on the subject of post-Level 3 options and the influences that affect them, indicate that one third (32 per cent) of those who took part in the study rated their school’s careers advice as ‘weak’. Continue reading


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Well-informed parents – key to banishing the vocational versus academic divide?

NFER welcomes recent reports from the Edge Foundation and the Association of Colleges on the complex and massively important areas of vocational education and careers guidance. The findings come as a timely reminder of the work yet to be done to ensure that academic and vocational routes to work are perceived to be equally important, useful and valid by all. Continue reading


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Engagement in learning: some knotty questions

A recent report published by Impetus: Private Equity Foundation said:

Key to preventing NEET status is developing our understanding of who is at risk and why. Asking difficult questions about what leads some young people to drop out of education and employment can lead us to difficult answers; but we have to confront the truth about these knotty issues.’(pg7) Continue reading


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How can FE colleges help young people make successful transitions at 14?

When I was presenting on this subject recently at the LSIS annual research conference one participant commented:

successful transitions can be achieved through effective relationships between key people in both organisations [colleges and schools]’ Continue reading