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Exploring the ‘middle’: School GCSE attainment and ordinary young people

Exploring the ‘middle’: School GCSE attainment and ordinary young people
Exploring the ‘middle’: School GCSE attainment and ordinary young people
In Britain educational qualifications gained at school continue to play an important and central role in young people’s educational and employment trajectories. Recently there has been a growing interest in documenting the lives of ordinary young people. In this paper we analyse the Youth Cohort Study of England and Wales in order to better document the experiences of those with ‘middle’, or moderate, levels of school GCSE attainment. We find that the overall pattern of school GCSE attainment is one of increasing levels of performance over time. In general girls performed better than boys, and there were some marked differences in attainment for pupils from the main minority ethnic groups. A striking result is the impact of parental socio-economic positions and other variables associated with the young person’s home background. We conclude that sociologists of youth should study ‘ordinary’ young people and moderate, or unspectacular, levels of educational attainment. The analyses suggest that school GCSE attainment is best understood as a continuum. There was no persuasive evidence that there is a distinctive ‘middle’ group of young people with moderate levels of school GCSE attainment. This concurs with our earlier analysis of data from the British Household Panel Survey.
youth transitions, sociology of youth, educational attainment, GCSE, missing middle, youth cohort study of England and Wales
2042-4116
39
ESRC Centre for Population Change
Gayle, Vernon
6f166435-39d9-43a2-babd-f5daaf6ae898
Murray, Susan
29c11960-bee2-42af-aebc-36b6c02c3719
Connelly, Roxanne
67ff0d28-15c1-4663-855c-ec4e14104ab2
McGowan, Teresa
4524e894-04de-4822-8508-f4b966e12ae2
Gayle, Vernon
6f166435-39d9-43a2-babd-f5daaf6ae898
Murray, Susan
29c11960-bee2-42af-aebc-36b6c02c3719
Connelly, Roxanne
67ff0d28-15c1-4663-855c-ec4e14104ab2
McGowan, Teresa
4524e894-04de-4822-8508-f4b966e12ae2

Gayle, Vernon, Murray, Susan and Connelly, Roxanne , McGowan, Teresa (ed.) (2013) Exploring the ‘middle’: School GCSE attainment and ordinary young people (ESRC Centre for Population Change Working Papers, 39) Southampton, GB. ESRC Centre for Population Change

Record type: Monograph (Working Paper)

Abstract

In Britain educational qualifications gained at school continue to play an important and central role in young people’s educational and employment trajectories. Recently there has been a growing interest in documenting the lives of ordinary young people. In this paper we analyse the Youth Cohort Study of England and Wales in order to better document the experiences of those with ‘middle’, or moderate, levels of school GCSE attainment. We find that the overall pattern of school GCSE attainment is one of increasing levels of performance over time. In general girls performed better than boys, and there were some marked differences in attainment for pupils from the main minority ethnic groups. A striking result is the impact of parental socio-economic positions and other variables associated with the young person’s home background. We conclude that sociologists of youth should study ‘ordinary’ young people and moderate, or unspectacular, levels of educational attainment. The analyses suggest that school GCSE attainment is best understood as a continuum. There was no persuasive evidence that there is a distinctive ‘middle’ group of young people with moderate levels of school GCSE attainment. This concurs with our earlier analysis of data from the British Household Panel Survey.

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2013_WP39_Exploring_the_middle_School_GCSE_attainment_and_ordinary_young_people_Gayle_et_al.pdf - Other
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More information

Published date: 1 August 2013
Keywords: youth transitions, sociology of youth, educational attainment, GCSE, missing middle, youth cohort study of England and Wales
Organisations: Social Sciences, Centre for Population Change

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 355520
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/355520
ISSN: 2042-4116
PURE UUID: 63b86b0d-b15a-4a24-92f1-2e7754c5b1d0

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Sep 2013 13:12
Last modified: 20 Nov 2021 15:19

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Contributors

Author: Vernon Gayle
Author: Susan Murray
Author: Roxanne Connelly
Editor: Teresa McGowan

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