Most of North Yorkshire’s young adults are achieving good GCSEs by 19, new figures show
The majority of North Yorkshire’s young adults are reaching 19 with good passes in their GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.
But the Association of School and College Leaders says disadvantaged students are hardest hit by the Government shifting its focus to GCSEs and A-levels over vocational qualifications.
Department for Education data reveals that 5,312 19-year-olds in North Yorkshire had achieved a level 2 qualification by the end of the 2018-19 academic year.
Level 2 qualifications are five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C, or 9-4, or the equivalents such as apprenticeships, NVQs and diplomas.
This means 86% of young people in the area had level 2 qualifications – the same percentage as the previous year, but above the national average of 82%
Across England, level 2 attainment dropped for the fourth consecutive year in 2018-19, from a high of 86% in 2014-15.
The gap between those living in the most and least deprived areas of the country also widened to 18% last year – the largest in eight years.
The figures include 19-year-olds who were in mainstream state schools in year 11.
The same DfE figures show 61% of the 2018-19 cohort in North Yorkshire achieved a level 3 qualification – two or more A-levels or the equivalents, such as a higher education diplomas or advanced apprenticeships.
That put this area above the national average for level 3 attainment, which fell to a six year low of 57% last year.
However, a DfE spokesman said the national figures represented an increase compared to 2009-10.
He added: “We have made good progress raising the standard of education and training on offer for young people.
“We are taking bold steps to further boost the quality of vocational and technical education to ensure those qualifications give students the skills they need for further study or to get a job.
“New, world class T-levels, to be launched in September, will help more young people acquire the skills they need to fulfil their potential.”