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One in four London sixth-formers drop out in first year

Almost third of young people in London go into school sixth forms and colleges without the grades they need, and a quarter are dropping out after their first year, a new report reveals.

The report, commissioned by London Councils and produced by the University of London's Institute of Education, blames poor careers education, insufficient apprenticeship and vocational training opportunities and a lack of partnerships between education providers.

The three-part report, 17+ Participation, Attainment and Progression in London, is the result of two years research and analysis. 

It comes after provisional Department for Education statistics showed Londoners performed below the national average in A-level and equivalent qualifications in 2013/14.

Councillor Peter John, London Councils’ executive member for children, skills and employment, said: “At GCSE London’s children are the best in the country, but this level of achievement is not being carried through to post-16.

“The seeds of this problem are being sown well before young people even reach sixth form or college, because a lack of choice and information means they end up on the wrong course or in the wrong place for them.

“There is some excellent work going on to address this issue, however, more needs to be done.”

London Councils, which represents all 32 London boroughs and the City of London, urged more joint working between schools, colleges, employers and work-based learning providers.

Councillor John called on the government to rethink the 17.5 per cent funding cut for 18-year-olds in education and reform “shockingly poor” careers guidance in schools

“Without these interventions, we are in danger of selling our young people short, and leaving them without the necessary higher level skills and qualifications needed for London’s jobs,” he added.

Related stories:

Skills system in London is 'broken' and failing to prepare people for work – July 2014

Education system is not preparing children for work, say parents – October 2014


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