Select Committee on Education and Employment First Special Report

Fifth Report: Disaffected Children (HC 498-I)

Fifth Report: Disaffected Children (HC 498-I)
Published:   6 April 1998
Government Reply: Sixth Special Report, Session

 1997-98 (HC 859)

Published:   1 July 1998


Government Response

Further Government Action

(A) We have noted the wide range of estimates of this group of young people. If the estimates of persistent non-attendance at Key Stage 4 are taken together with the estimates for non-participation between 16 and 19 years old, we can conclude that at any one time there are at least 100,000 14-19 year olds not in education, training or employment or, taking a higher estimate, as many as 220,000 non-participants. Whatever estimate is adopted, it is obvious that disaffected young people form a significant cohort within the 14-19 age group, and re-integrating them into the mainstream of education, training and work must form an integral part of the Government's educational and social policy. The problem is that no figures are kept that can be quoted with rigour. More accurate information is vital if we are to grasp the true nature and extent of the problem. We recommend that the Government carries out an audit of the scale, nature and causes of disaffection amongst young people in order to inform policy in this area.

We agree that disaffected young people form a significant group within 14-19 year olds.

We note the Committee's recommendation that Government carries out an audit of the scale, nature and causes of disaffection. We will shortly be publishing an evaluation of the research findings from the initial phase of the 17 New Start projects, which will include an analysis of the causes of disaffection among 14-17.

We agree that measures to track the destinations of those young people ending compulsory schooling are vital to measure the success of any interventions carried out by central Government.

The Department is planning to develop a national "14-21 database", following a successful consultation exercise last year.

The Government has demonstrated its commitment to tackling youth disaffection through the publication of the Social Exclusion Unit's Bridging The Gap and Policy Action Team 12: Young People reports. Both reports were based on a comprehensive audit of the scale, nature and causes of disaffection and set out a number of measures to increase participation and achievement in education among disadvantaged and disaffected young people. Work is in progress across Government Departments to implement the recommendations from both reports.

OFSTED's evaluation of the Round One New Start projects (published in June 2000) has provided more information about the factors influencing disaffection and the approaches likely to be effective in tackling the problem. In particular, projects have identified the importance of a multi­agency approach to individual needs and providing personal support. Partnership working has been extended across the whole of England.

New Start projects paved the way for the introduction in September 1999 of the Learning Gateway for young people who need help in making a successful transition from school to subsequent learning. New Start experience in tackling youth disaffection is also informing the development of the Connexions Service for 13­19 year olds, which will be phased in from April 2001. We are currently developing the databases and tracking systems which will underpin the new service. These will enable young people who move between partnership areas to be supported more readily and support a more comprehensive approach to advice and guidance for those with multiple problems.

Recent statistics show a 15 per cent drop in the number of 16­18 year olds not in education, employment or training.

(B) The key task in tackling disaffection should be to provide challenge, restore motivation and engender key skills. Maximising formal educational achievement for these young people must be at the heart of intervention, whatever the nature of the project concerned. The main principle should be to include not exclude disaffected young people. All interventions should have the aim of reintegrating disaffected young people into mainstream education and training opportunities. However good the project/experience is in the short term, it cannot be regarded as wholly successful if, at the end of it, young people are not able to re-access education, training or employment.

The Government shares the Committee's concerns both about the worrying increase in the level of permanent exclusion and the limited provision which is too often offered to those who are excluded from school. We have set ambitious targets for reducing the level of exclusion by one third by 2002. To reinforce this, we will be issuing statutory guidance later this year setting out the range of preventative action which schools and LEAs should take before a child is excluded. These steps should be included in schools' Behaviour and Development policies. We agree that OFSTED should inspect schools with serious problems: OFSTED has agreed to inspect schools which have particularly high levels of truancy or exclusion. Finally, we have made a commitment to moving to a full timetable for all excluded pupils by 2002.

Intervention should aim to reintegrate disaffected young people into learning. It is also important to start early, to work with potentially disaffected young people in order to prevent them leaving education or training. However, research on the nature of disaffection suggests that for many disaffected young people the formal educational system is seen as the greatest barrier to achievement. Alternative forms of provision which produce achievement recognised by the wider society—including employers—may be the most appropriate way forward.

Exclusions rose threefold in the early 1990s, peaking at 12,700 in 1996/97. But permanent exclusions in 1998/99 were 10,400, 15 per cent lower than the figure of 12,300 in 1997/98, and the Government is on course to meet the target of a one third reduction by 2002.

We have also set targets to reduce levels of truancy by a third by 2002. While as yet we have not seen overall progress, we have stemmed the increase in truancy which we saw in the 1990s.

In July 1999 the Government provided detailed new guidance (Circular 10/99 'Social Inclusion: Pupil Support') to maintained schools on pupil behaviour and attendance, the use of exclusion, and re-integration. The guidance recommends early intervention and prevention, through multi-agency involvement and partnership with parents. It contains case studies and practical strategies shown to work; it lists sanctions for poor behaviour and possible rewards for good behaviour. It also recommends on-site Learning Support Units for pupils at risk of exclusion and multi-agency Pastoral Support Programmes for those at serious risk of permanent exclusion.

Through the Standards Fund, Connexions and the Children's Fund there will be well over £600 available over the next three years to tackle poor behaviour and attendance and exclusion from school. If children are excluded from school we are ensuring that in future they receive a proper education. Nationally, the sum available from the Standards Fund grant programmes to tackle poor behaviour and truancy and provide a full-time education for exluded pupils by 2002 has increased from £57 million in 1999-2000 to over £131 million in 2000-01. A further £9 million was available for drug prevention and training youth workers. In 2001-02 the equivalent figure for attendance and behaviour will be £174 million (excluding drugs and youth), a £43 million increase.

For the first time in 2000-01 LEAs have been required to devolve £105 million (£127 million in 2001-02) of the Standards Fund Social Inclusion Pupil Support (SIPS) grant to mainstream secondary schools so that they can tackle problems before the need to exclude. LEAs and schools can use their funds for a range of activities including alternative education such as college placements or community work. A further £10 million will go to schools outside Excellence in Cities areas to enable them to set up Learning Support Centres. If however a child is excluded, LEAs should make use of re-integration panels and other good practice to strengthen the re-integration process. Money must be transferred from the excluding school to the LEA to provide education otherwise than at school or act as a 'dowry' to the receiving school. LEAs must move towards full time education for children excluded for more than 15 days; they are likely to achieve this target by the 2002 target date.

Learning Support Units and Learning Mentors are also being funded under the Excellence in Cities initiative, which now covers 46 LEAs, to help schools better manage disruptive pupils.

The Government has also announced a Pupil Support Allowance worth £9 million to be piloted in Phase 1 Excellence in Cities areas and targeted at 'difficult' pupils who move between secondary schools outside the normal admissions round.

In August 2000 the Secretary of State issued revised guidance for exclusion appeal panels. The guidance makes clear that where there has been violence or severe threat of violence, sexual abuse, selling of illegal drugs or persistent and malicious disruptive behaviour, it is inappropriate for the pupil to be re-instated to the same school.

A renewed drive to tackle truancy was announced in October 2000 by the Secretary of State and the Home Secretary of State. This includes a co-ordinated national programme with truancy sweeps, an extra £43 million in 2001-02 to tackle poor behaviour in schools with truancy as the top priority; extra Learning Mentors in Excellence in Cities areas; increased penalties for parents who take no action to secure the attendance of their children; and asking schools with above average truancy records to set new targets for attendance.

The Government is awaiting publication of the OFSTED report of its special inspections of schools with high levels of truancy or exclusion. The report will influence our future consideration on deploying resources available from the Social Inclusion Pupil Support grant for 2001-02 as well as informing the structure for the next round of inspections in the new academic year.

(C) A clear message from our inquiry was that many different agencies are already working to help tackle disaffection among children and young people. However, an equally clear message is that much of this work is carried out on a piecemeal and project-by-project basis. In order to ensure effective, well-targeted provision for disaffected young people, we believe that better local coordination is needed. We propose the creation of local forums, to help ensure that disaffected young people do not fall through gaps in the system. These forums would involve all the appropriate statutory and voluntary agencies in each area. They should not be concerned with detailed intervention in local projects, nor should they merely add a layer of bureaucracy to existing relationships. Their role should be to enable and ensure effective intervention. They should identify ways in which mainstream education providers can learn from the work of other agencies . They should promote high quality programmes and ensure that full information on services for young people is available. It is vital that these forums have sufficient authority to enlist the necessary human and financial resources to tackle disaffection. Forums should be responsible for establishing a strategy and an action plan—either as part of the local authority's education development plan or separately—which should form the basis for the allocation of resources. A clear strategy for intervention with individual disaffected young people is essential; its absence is a recipe for confusion both within funding structures and for young people.

The Government agrees that there is a need for greater co-ordination of provision and approach to tackling disaffection, both across Whitehall and with external partners working in local communities with disaffected young people.

A Ministerial Task Force has been set up exclusively to deal with the issues of Truancy and School Exclusions.

The Government fully believes in the principle of encouraging partnership and co-operation between sectors. Many local partnerships already exist. The New Start strategy is an example of how partnerships of this kind can be put to good effect.

Major developments to improve the co-ordination of the delivery of policies and services include the introduction of the Connexions Service, which will offer coherent and co-ordinated support for all young people, according to their needs. The Connexions Service will help to increase effective participation in learning up to age of 19, improve learning achievement at all levels of ability, prevent the onset of disaffection and promote social inclusion, and provide practical support to overcome personal family or social obstacles. A 'mapping tool' is being developed which will help Connexions Service Partnerships to draw up strategic and business plans for their areas. The Plans will show how all the appropriate statutory and voluntary agencies in an area are involved in delivering the Service. The first 16 Partnerships will begin the Service from April 2001. By the end of 2002-03, £420 million will be available for delivery of the Service, which added to other resources available from DfEE and other Government Departments, such as the Pupil Support Standards Fund grant, the Quality Protects Special Grant and the new Safer Communities Supported Housing Fund, combine to enhance specialist services for young people.

A key theme of the Policy Action Team 12 report is more effective preventive action. The Government has created a new Children and Young People Unit, which will ensure that policies and services for young people across Government are properly co-ordinated. The Unit will comprise staff from across Government and secondees from the voluntary and other sectors. It will oversee the management of a Children's Fund, which will support early interventions in problems which could result in later disaffection and social exclusion.

Development funding has enabled New Start partnerships to experiment with outreach, guidance and counselling, mentoring, alternative curriculums, home-school liaison, teacher/school development, directories/databases, tracking, quality frameworks and, through multi-agency working, the development of 'gateway' approaches and new provision to help young people upgrade their basic skills and develop positive attitudes to work. Initiatives have shown impressive performance in terms of improvements in attendance, attainment of qualifications, reductions in temporary and permanent exclusions, and access to education, training and jobs.

Drawing on New Start experience, the Learning Gateway is providing a supportive environment for 16 and 17 year olds who need help in regaining their motivation and being guided towards an appropriate learning opportunity. Personal Advisers are critical to the success of the Gateway which offers a more coherent and better targeted approach than has existed in the past, and will help lay the foundations post-16 for the Connexions Service.

(D) Pastoral support and discipline are key components of a good school. Clear and consistent whole­school policies on discipline, pastoral support, partnership with parents, attendance and bullying are vital in preventing and tackling disaffection. Partnership with other agencies is also vital, and schools should ensure that these are involved in tackling disaffection. We recommend that all schools adopt policies which incorporate these features.

The Government agrees with these recommendations. Circular 8/94 on 'Pupil Behaviour and Discipline', issued to all schools in May 1994, made clear that good behaviour and discipline are key foundations of good education.

It is encouraging, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector has reported, that most schools have clear policies and procedures for dealing with pupil behaviour and discipline, and that most give good attention to pupils' welfare and guidance. They have appropriate and effective systems of rewards and sanctions and make use of carefully organised referral systems to identify and monitor pupils who are giving cause for concern.

The Government intends to consult in the autumn on revised guidance on behaviour and discipline, emphasising the need for schools to have effective whole-school behaviour policies and encourage a multi-agency approach to tackling problems of disaffection.

The personal and social development of pupils in schools has become a key Government priority. The Advisory Group on Personal, Social and Health Education will give initial advice in the summer on a national framework to feed into the QCA's review of the National Curriculum.

See Recommendation B for details of new guidance to schools.

See Recommendation A for details of latest exclusion statistics.

In 2000 the Government has further clarified its advice on the use of permanent exclusion. And from September 1999 headteachers have been under a legal duty to draw up measures to prevent bullying among pupils. A new anti-bullying pack and video for schools is due to be issued before the end of 2000. There will also be a new public information film to raise awareness and a new DfEE anti-bullying website. The Government is also funding from September 2000 a free helpline at Parentline Plus for parents of bullied pupils.

As part of the development of the new National Curriculum in 1999 the DfEE published a framework for PSHE. In early 2000 QCA published guidance for the delivery of PSHE and Citizenship. From September 2000 the framework for Personal, Social and Health Education at Key Stages 1 to 4 and Citizenship at Key Stages 1 & 2 was introduced into the National Curriculum. It consists of non-statutory guidelines which are designed to be taught alongside the revised national curriculum.

The framework for PSHE and Citizenship provides essential knowledge, skills and understanding; relates to other initiatives including the 'National Healthy School Standard'; benefits children, schools and society; and is flexible and offers a basis for continuity and progression.

(E) We believe that the induction year will provide the right opportunity for teachers to develop their skills in behaviour management.

We welcome the Committee's endorsement of the Government's policy of giving newly-qualified teachers the opportunity of developing their skills through the induction year.

(F) A feature of a good school is a low exclusion rate. Permanent exclusion should be a last resort. Schools should endeavour to create additional support units at the school for pupils who might otherwise face exclusion. We are concerned that permanent exclusions rose almost five­fold between 1991 and 1996. We are even more concerned, however, that those permanently excluded subsequently receive only a basic educational entitlement—which inevitably reduces the possibility of their re­joining mainstream educational pathways alongside their peers. The effect of this on their motivation to re­engage with education can only be profoundly negative. Schools should be encouraged to develop whole school policies which limit disaffection and exclusions. OFSTED should have a duty to carry out a special inspection of schools which show a marked increase in exclusions. LEAs should monitor schools and intervene to ensure that appropriate whole school policies are introduced. These schools should be closely monitored over a four-year period following the inspection.

The Government shares the Committee's concerns both about the worrying increase in the level of permanent exclusion and the limited provision which is too often offered to those who are excluded from school. We have set ambitious targets for reducing the level of exclusion by one third by 2002. To reinforce this, we will be issuing statutory guidance later this year setting out the range of preventative action which schools and LEAs should take before a child is excluded. These steps should be included in schools' Behaviour and Development policies. We agree that OFSTED should inspect schools with serious problems: OFSTED has agreed to inspect schools which have particularly high levels of truancy or exclusion. Finally, we have made a commitment to moving to a full timetable for all excluded pupils by 2002.

Intervention should aim to reintegrate disaffected young people into learning. It is also important to start early, to work with potentially disaffected young people in order to prevent them leaving education or training. However, research on the nature of disaffection suggests that for many disaffected young people the formal educational system is seen as the greatest barrier to achievement. Alternative forms of provision which produce achievement recognised by the wider society—including employers—may be the most appropriate way forward.

The Government has provided substantial funding for on-site Learning Support Units in schools. These provide separate short-term small group teaching and support programmes tailored to the needs of difficult pupils who are at risk of exclusion, whilst minimising disruption to others. Independent evaluation shows that LSUs improve behaviour, successfully reduce exclusions and are cost-effective. The aim is to increase the total number of LSUs to over 1,000 by 2002.

See Recommendation A for details of latest exclusion statistics.

The £100 million devolved to secondary schools in 2000-01 under the SIPS Standards Fund grant can be used on a range of strategies, such as Learning Support Units or pastoral care programmes, to re-engage those at risk of disaffection. They can also use their money to fund pre-16 college places or vocational education. The LEA can fund activities that keep excluded children in education and learning including pre-16 college places, vocational education, work experience, and community work from their SIPS LEA initiative fund of £26 million in 2000-01. The aim where possible is to engage children in learning, either through alternative provision or re-integration into a new mainstream school. Money going into schools from the SIPS grant and to help them establish LSUs, increases to £137 million in 2001-02. In addition, LEAs will have an initiative fund of £37 million, making £174 million in total. An increase of £43 million on 2000-01.

(G) Wherever possible, schools should retain responsibility for excluded pupils. For as long as they continue to receive funding for an excluded pupil, they have an obligation to allocate a proportion of those resources to that pupil for whatever alternative provision is made for them, wherever it takes place. Where schools do not retain responsibility, a similar proportion of the funding should be withdrawn from the school and made available to those taking on responsibility for the education of these young people.

The Government welcomes the Committee's commitment to the idea that we must target resources on disaffection and social exclusion. The Government is reviewing the funding available for work with disaffected pupils in the light both of the Committee's recommendations and the work of the Social Exclusion Unit on truancy and exclusion.

Direct, practical help is already given to locally-devised projects to tackle truancy under the "Improving Attendance and Behaviour" component of the Standards Fund programme.

We agree that the school should retain responsibility for a pupil for as long as it continues to be funded for that pupil, i.e. while the various appeal processes are being carried out. New guidance will re-emphasise that point.

We agree that school funding arrangements should support both schools which retain pupils at risk of exclusion and those schools which admit pupils excluded from other schools. We are working up proposals for consultation for targeting funds on schools for preventative work with children at risk of exclusion and schools that receive excluded pupils.

The SIPS grant is allocated using a combination of pupil numbers and a weighting reflecting free school meal entitlement. LEAs allocate the £100 million to secondary schools in 2000-01 using a local formula agreed with schools. Most formulae include deprivation factors for example free school meal entitlement as a proxy for disaffection. Some formulae include aggregated truancy and exclusion data. The grant regime provides for the withdrawal of up to £6000 from schools' SIPS grant for every permanent exclusion made by a school. Under such circumstances the funds and the responsibility for educating the pupil is transferred to the LEA whose responsibility is to keep that child in learning and to re-integrate the child quickly into mainstream education. The LEA can use the money to educate the child outside school; or to act as a 'dowry' to help re-integrate the child into a new school. Schools accepting excluded children should, therefore, benefit from these additional funds. This is in addition to the usual money following excluded pupils.

(H) We also believe that schools which achieve success with previously excluded pupils should be rewarded. They could, for instance, receive a financial bonus for each of these pupils who gains a Level 2 qualification.

As above Recommendation G

See Recommendation G

The new £9 million Pupil Support Allowance is intended to help schools deal with difficult in year admissions. The PSA will offer schools £3000 of additional resources to plan the integration of in-year admissions of challenging pupils to help minimise disruption to existing pupils. Pilots are to start in September 2000 in secondary schools in phase 1 EiC areas.

(I) If PRUs are to work effectively, they should not be seen as a permanent solution, but as one stage in the process of tackling exclusion. They should work closely with schools, colleges and other bodies, within the framework of the local forums proposed earlier in our Report, so that children do not become further disconnected from the mainstream system as a result of exclusion. As part of this process, it is important that decisions are made at the earliest opportunity about the next step for each child, whether back at school or elsewhere. Children must not be allowed to get stuck, or stagnate, in PRUs.

We agree that PRUs should not be seen as a permanent solution for the majority of excluded pupils, but that their work should be focused on reintegrating pupils into mainstream education wherever possible. In some cases, reintegration into another mainstream school may not be realistic. In such cases PRUs and other providers of education otherwise than at school should be focused on preparing the young person for further education, training or employment at the age of 16.

Both OFSTED and DfEE are monitoring the provision of education in PRUs through inspection reports. The quality of teaching was found to be variable but satisfactory in most of the PRUs inspected.

High expectations are an important factor in improving achievement. DfEE are funding several pilot projects where mainstream teachers are seconded to PRUs to improve the curriculum provision at the PRU and their own behaviour management skills. These projects are currently being evaluated. The Government will require all PRUs to establish management committees from April 1999. Careers Services will be providing programmes of careers education to these young people.

The school teachers' pay system already provides some flexibility to LEAs to employ teachers in PRUs at appropriate rates of pay. There is no reason why the Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) grade should not be available to PRUs; it will however be for LEAs to decide whether or not to create AST posts in PRUs.

Each pupil admitted to a PRU should have targets for re-integration into mainstream school or special school, further education or employment.

PRU provision at Key Stage 4 is often used in tandem with other educational providers, i.e. FE Colleges, work placement with local employers and the voluntary sector, with a view to preparing children for post-16 education, employment or training. PRUs are often used as off-site education provision for pupils at risk of exclusion for respite from the mainstream school setting. PRUs are increasingly linking on an outreach role to support local schools and colleges.

There was a low take up of the PRU secondment option in the pilot projects funded by the DfEE, but evaluation showed benefits of improved behaviour management skills to the seconded teacher.

Management committees are standard practice, though a legislative requirement for each PRU to have one has not been introduced.

It remains for LEAs to decide whether or not to create Advance Skills Teacher posts in PRUs.

Average education for excluded pupils is increasing from the 2/3 hours four years ago. By 2002 all LEAs will be required to provide full-time education for excluded pupils, some are already doing so. In 1999-2000 for the first time the DfEE collected data on contact time at PRUs for individual pupils and the results have been encouraging. The latest available figures show that the number of full-time pupils at PRUs has increased from around 7,500 in 1997 to 8,500 in 2000. The number of pupils dually registered at a PRU and school has also increased in the past year. There are nearly 250 more qualified teachers in PRUs compared to 1997. The money LEAs are planning to spend on PRU provision increased 13 per cent from £107 million in 1999-2000 to £121 million in 2000-01.

The Department is currently reviewing educational provision for excluded pupils. The review includes looking across the key stages at multi-agency working, teacher training and development, planning and support packages, including for pupils being re-integrated into mainstream school. The review will pay particular attention to PRUs and examine quality and standards in the units as well as their role in the continuum of support for those who have been, or are at risk of being, excluded. Recommendations will be made early in 2001. Initial signs are encouraging—an OFSTED analysis of 38 PRU inspection reports showed improved teaching; improved pupil progress and achievement; better management; better value for money and some improved accommodation.

(J) Many PRUs also fail to provide the quality of teaching needed to make sure that children do not become further disconnected from the mainstream system. Teaching standards in PRUs must be improved. The Government must take the necessary steps to attract high quality staff and put a high quality curriculum in place. Teachers need specific skills for teaching pupils in settings such as PRUs which are additional to those required to teach in mainstream environments. If necessary, the Government should consider offering inducements to attract appropriately skilled staff, including Advanced Skills Teachers, to work in PRUs.

As above recommendation I

See Recommendation I

(K) Where appropriate, the FEFC, colleges, LEAs and schools should work within the framework of the local forums recommended in paragraph 26 above (recommendation (c)) to provide college education to disaffected young people. Funding should be made available from both the college and school sectors to facilitate this. The key principle is that funding should follow the students, wherever their learning is taking place.

See recommendation C

See recommendation C. The education sector is a key player in successful partnership working at all levels.

From April 2001, the Learning and Skills Council will assume responsibility for the planning and funding of post-16 learning outside higher education. The LSC's system will be customer-led, not provider driven. This means that money will follow the learner, with the system driven by learner and employer demand, not by central design. The funding system will not fund proxies such as units, but will have national transparent rates which will be consistent for similar learners across the country.

Connexions Service partnerships will have the same boundaries as the local arms of the Learning and Skills Council and will work with local LSCs on planning the provision of learning in their area.

Schools can use their devolved SIPS funding (see Recommendation B) for pre-16 college education. The LEA can also use their tranche of SIPS funding to support excluded children in college. When a permanent exclusion occurs, the grant requires that money be transferred from the excluding school to provide education otherwise than at school or act as a 'dowry' to the receiving school in addition to the usual age weighted pupil unit.

(L) We are very concerned that the New Deal does not cover 16 and 17 year olds. Given the failure of TECs to meet the youth training guarantee there is urgent need for a lead from Government to tackle non­participation amongst this age group. We welcome the fact that the DfEE recognises this potential problem, and has undertaken to monitor the potential negative impact of the New Deal on 16 and 17 year olds. However, if our fears prove to be well-founded, we believe that the Government should in due course consider extending the New Deal to 16 and 17 year olds. In the first instance, this extension of the New Deal should give priority to the most vulnerable categories, such as young people who have been looked after by local authorities.

The primary goal of the New Deal has been to reduce the numbers of long-term unemployed young people aged 18-24. This goal is rather different to that for 16 and 17 year olds. For this lower age group, the Government's primary aim is to increase levels of participation and attainment in learning. Moreover, many of the New Deal options are already available for 16 and 17 year olds. They are guaranteed vocational training, and the FEFC has a duty to fund college courses for them. The Government's strategy to tackle disaffection and under-achievement among 16 and 17 year olds is Investing in Young People. We will be carefully monitoring the impact of New Deal and the National Minimum Wage on the employment prospects of 16 and 17 year olds.

However, while the short term goals for 16 and 17 year olds are distinct from those of over 18s, the long term goal for all young people is the same: that they should have the skills and qualifications to maintain their employability throughout their working lives. Consequently, there are lessons which can be learnt from the early success of the New Deal for 18-24 year olds.

The Government believes that the best defence against youth disaffection is through participation and achievement in learning, leading to sustainable employment. The New Deal programme is a work-focused initiative for adults, providing a safety net for those who fail to enter a sustainable career direct from education. The Government is putting in place new support arrangements—such as the Connexions Service and the Educational Maintenance Allowances—which are designed to remove personal, social or financial barriers to learning for young people. In developing the Connexions Service, we are drawing on the New Deal's wealth of practical experience in using a 'Personal Adviser' approach. We are working to ensure that there is effective liaison between the Connexion Service and the New Deal, to offer a continuum of support throughout the transition from learning to employment. For example, the Employment Service will be represented in Connexions Service management committees.

The Learning Gateway for 16 and 17 year olds can be expected to make a major contribution to the development and implementation of Connexions Service.

Generally, the Government is seeking to ensure that there is a consistent link between services to 16-17 year olds and those from 18 onwards.

(M) The disparate nature of disaffection suggests to us a need for considerable flexibility in response and methods of intervention in the lives of disaffected young people. Voluntary agencies are prima facie well placed to provide such a flexible and tailored response. During our inquiry, we learned of much good and innovative work undertaken by such agencies and of ways in which, often acting in partnership with other bodies, they successfully tackled disaffection and helped re-integrate children and young people into education and training. We believe that their work can have valuable lessons for others working in education.

The Government fully supports and values the work of voluntary youth organisations. We are currently considering plans for a new grants scheme to run from 1999-2002 which will be targeted on tackling social exclusion and raising youth work standards.

In addition to the grants to Voluntary Organisations direct from central Government, a considerable sum of government money is distributed via TECs to Voluntary Organisations.

The headquarters of sixty-three organisations are being funded to pursue approved national programmes of work to further the planned personal and social education of young people. Voluntary Organisations are key partners in the New Start Partnerships tackling disaffection throughout the country.

OFSTED have confirmed that the grants have been vital to organisations in helping them develop targeted provision, have helped improve the quality of work and enabled good practice to be spread. They have praised the grants as providing good value for money; they are highly geared and cost-effective and help organisations raise extra support from other sources.

The SIPS grant supports the contribution the voluntary sector has made to the education of disaffected children. Schools can use this year's devolved funding to buy services direct from the voluntary sector. LEAs can also use their funds to access voluntary sector services. Many LEAs and schools have used the services of the voluntary sector for alternative education provision for disaffected and excluded children.

As part of the Spending Review, the Government announced a new Children's Fund, worth £450 million over three years, with a strong emphasis on voluntary sector delivery. The majority of the Fund will be targeted at preventive work with children (primarily aged 5-13) and their families, helping them before they hit a crisis. The aim is to prevent children falling into drug abuse, truancy, exclusion, unemployment and crime, as well as raising aspirations and preventing under-achievement. The remainder of the Fund will be distributed directly to local community groups through a network of local funds, as announced in the Budget. The network of local funds will be administered by the voluntary sector, with a strong emphasis on children and young people's own aspirations and views.

The current National Voluntary Youth Organisation (NVYO) Scheme runs from 1999-2002 and is targeted on tackling social exclusion and raising youth work standards. We are supporting the headquarters of 81 NVYOs to carry out 84 projects.

(N) What matters most is longer-term effectiveness, however, measured: where are the young people a year, or two years, after the intervention? An important characteristic of successful intervention will therefore be that effective tracking measures are in place. We expect projects supported by public funds to adopt such measures.

See recommendation A. Tracking is acknowledged as a potentially powerful lever for multi-agency working. Valuable work has already been carried out in New Start and elsewhere, and will be taken further under the Connexions umbrella.

The Government is currently developing a comprehensive tracking system to support the work of the Connexions Service by monitoring the status and needs of all 13-19 year olds. The system will hold the information needed to underpin the work of Connexions Service personal advisers, local management committees, Connexions partnerships and the Connexions National Unit. It will enable young people who move between partnership areas to be supported more readily and support a more comprehensive approach to advice and guidance for those with multiple problems.

(O) We believe that a good mentor can make all the difference to outcomes for disaffected young people. We commend the use of mentoring in work with these young people. Programmes designed to re-integrate young people into the mainstream should involve the use of mentors. Disaffected young people in particular need access to high quality independent advice and guidance on education, training, employability and employment opportunities. This can be provided by those working as mentors with young people.

The White Paper Excellence in Schools said the Government would support the National Mentoring Network (NMN) and its members to raise the profile and increase the availability of mentoring initiatives to pupils.

A new project about to start is to trial peer mentoring by previously disaffected pupils who had successfully graduated from career clubs run by a career company.

We are looking at ways for the Connexions Service to facilitate access to mentors, including peer mentors. The new Service will also have an important role in enabling young people to take up opportunities to become mentors themselves.

One-stop shops for recruiting, training and supporting mentors will be piloted for one year from 1 January 2001 in three Excellence in Cities areas. These 'Mentor Points' will bring volunteers and opportunities together, within a framework of minimum quality standards. In addition, over the 2000/01 academic year a quality framework will be tested across a range of mentoring projects to help establish common minimum quality standards, and the DfEE and National Mentoring Network will continue to promote best practice.

850 Learning Mentors have already been introduced into nearly 500 city secondary schools through our Excellence in Cities initiative. 700 Learning Mentors will be recruited in over 300 more secondary schools from September 2000, with an additional 200 Learning Mentors recruited from September 2001. They are also being introduced into the primary sector on a pilot basis.

Learning Mentors are school based staff who help young people overcome barriers to learning both inside and outside school. The focus of the Learning Mentors programme is to target help on those who need it most especially those suffering multiple disadvantage and to provide a complementary service to existing school staff, and to others providing services outside school, to help pupils to access the help that they need. They work closely with existing volunteer mentors.

(P) The Government has announced that it intends to "put the Youth Service on a stronger statutory footing". The Government is also keen to explore ways in which voluntary youth networks and local authorities can work more closely together "to provide for young people in an imaginative way". We welcome this commitment by the Government, which we hope will include encouraging schools to make greater use of wider youth services, particularly in providing appropriate support to disaffected young people.

The audit of youth service provision in local authorities in England and the forthcoming consultation document on the future of the Youth Service will inform the Department's strategy for involving the Youth Service in the Government's wider policies for disaffected pupils and young people. The Youth Service is already a partner in New Start and voluntary youth organisations are featuring strongly in areas such as New Deal and Millennium Volunteers. The new duty for LEAs to set out their arrangements for pupils with behavioural difficulties in a behaviour support plan should result in the Youth Service being more involved in the planning of such provision and making schools and parents more aware of the services on offer. Grant 16 of The Standards Fund encourages local authority youth services and schools to work together in the field of drug education.

The Government is also looking to the Youth Service to work closely with Careers Services.

2000-01 saw the introduction for the first time of the new combined Standards Fund Grant Social Inclusion: Pupil Support, Drug Prevention and Youth Service. This will enable LEAs and schools to plan and deliver a drug education programme which is relevant to pupil needs and an effective youth support service by underpinning it with the support needed by pupils who are vulnerable or at risk. Youth Service Training is up to £2 million, supported at the rate of 50 per cent, to all LEAs to support the training of youth and community workers in the effective delivery of programmes which address disaffection, social exclusion and crime among young people.

The Youth Service has a key role in effective partnership working as experience with New Start and the Learning Gateway has shown. Provision has been made for its full and active involvement in the running of the new Connexions Service.

The Department has now decided that it is unnecessary to strengthen the statutory base of the Youth Service, as it is felt that this would limit a local authority's ability to provide a varied range of activities. This decision is reflected in the learning and Skills Act 2000 which defines the provision of the Youth Service by a power rather than a duty.

(Q) The New Start strategy has only been in place for a few months. However, once the pilot projects have bedded down, we would like to see the principles underlying the New Start pilots implemented nationwide. This is vital both to establish the true extent of disaffection and to encourage the bringing together of many existing initiatives, and creating the impetus for new ones to be formed.

The Government welcomes the Committee's endorsement of the New Start initiative which is a key strand of its Investing in Young People strategy.

DfEE is currently directly funding 17 partnership projects, involving Local Authorities, Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs), Careers Service, Youth Service, schools, Further Education colleges and voluntary organisations. Projects have been asked to identify the scale and nature of disaffection in their area; the effectiveness of local learning provision; the scope to strengthen existing or introduce new provision and to develop a strategy and an action plan based on this research. DfEE is also offering support under New Start to many other local partnerships aimed at tackling disaffection amongst young people through regional networking activities, expert consultancy advice and the dissemination of good practice via the New Start Journal and other publications. The 17 directly funded projects are now nearing the end of, or have completed, their research phase and are drawing up action plans for the implementation phase. The Government proposes to extend the principles and the good practice of the New Start strategy as far as possible within available resources.

See the responses on recommendations A and C which show that New Start experience and good practice flowing from it is helping to underpin new provision aimed at maximizing learning opportunities for young people. Also the OFSTED Report on Round One New State Partnership Projects for 14-16 year olds in schools in England has much to say which is very positive about the New Start approach to re-engaging de-motivated young people, and "its capacity for rekindling their interest in both present and future educational opportunities." It remains the intention that, wherever possible, effective practice developed under New Start will be embedded within mainstream educational/training provision.

(R) We recognise that the local authority has a responsibility, through a variety of mechanisms, to secure appropriate support and educational provision for disaffected young people. We also agree that there must be better coordination of effort at the local level. We have therefore recommended (in paragraph 26, recommendation (c), above) the establishment of local forums which would build on the kinds of partnership model currently being piloted under the New Start initiative. Effective co­ordination of services for the young people in the greatest need should not be left to chance.

See Recommendation C

See Recommendation C. LEAs are in the process of reviewing Behaviour Support Plans (BSPs) which detail services to tackle behaviour problems in an area. Recent research into the first BSPs stressed the need for a multi-agency approach. This research is being promulgated to LEAs. In drawing up BSPs LEAs are required to consult widely with partners and service providers.

(S) The current funding available for tackling disaffection is fragmented and poorly targeted—in short it is a mess. The Government needs to identify as soon as possible how much central government money is currently being spent on services for disaffected young people, which budget it comes from, whether it is being used effectively and efficiently and whether it is being directed towards areas of greatest need. Government departments should set the lead by improving the co­ordination of their resources, possibly through the Social Exclusion Unit. We have emphasised the need for effective coordination of activity. There is equally a need for effective coordination and targeting of funding. We believe that the local forums we have recommended would have a role to play in ensuring that money is effectively allocated.

See Recommendation G

As part of the Government's Year 2000 Spending Review, the Cross-Cutting Review of Young People at Risk sought to identify cost effective policies for helping young people from 5 to 19 to make the transition from childhood to adulthood safely and successfully. The Review concluded that resources should be targeted on those most in need and that, in addition to effective support in times of crisis, more should be done to prevent problems occurring in the first place. To achieve this, a new way of working is required across traditional institutional boundaries, involving the voluntary sector, community organisations and statutory services.

The Review also concluded that the progressive introduction of the Connexions Service would be co-ordinated with the expansion of key services for vulnerable young people, including mental health services, supported housing and drug treatment. The key aim of the Connexions Service will be to help all those aged 13 to 19 to participate effectively in learning and to realise their full potential. The Service will ensure that effective use is made of the resources available locally for youth guidance and support.

See Recommendation C for details of the Children's Fund.

(T) There has been an abject failure to provide effective educational opportunities for the most vulnerable children who are looked after. The fact that a disproportionate number of looked-after children are disaffected and are likely to truant or be excluded, and that 75 per cent of them leave school without any qualifications, is unacceptable. There is considerable educational under­achievement, despite significant investment of public money; a widespread lack of collaboration between different branches of the local authority; but also some encouraging signs of effective partnership between agencies, which need to be encouraged.

The DfEE set up earlier this year a national inter-agency forum for promoting the education and attainment of these young people, including representatives of the leading statutory and voluntary agencies. The Government is considering a range of issues, including:

· whether existing non-statutory guidance to local authorities and schools should be replaced by statutory guidelines;

· how to secure better information on educational outcomes for looked-after children;

· how to stimulate more targeted teacher support to young people outside of school or seeking to reintegrate in mainstream schooling;

· new improvements in arrangements for education in secure units; and

· wider support for young people who have left care.

The Government intends to set targets for the educational attainment of looked-after children. These will need underpinning by closer collaborative working between services and by the improved information to which we refer above. We recognise that there are promising signs of progress in some authorities and aim both to encourage and build upon this work.

The Inter-agency Forum for Promoting the Education and Attainment of Children and Young People in Public Care recommended that there needed to be guidance for local authorities on raising the educational attainment levels of young people in public care. The Forum recommended statutory guidance.

Guidance on the Education of Children and Young People in Public Care was issued jointly by DfEE and DH in May 2000 supported by statutory guidance in DH Circular LAC(2000) 13. The purpose is to assist local authorities in their role as corporate parents to safeguard and promote the education of these young people. The guidance addresses the need for multi-agency joint working, and one of the four areas of statutory guidance directs local authorities to establish and maintain a protocol for sharing information and monitoring. The other three areas cover: using the availability of a suitable educational placement as an essential criterion for choice of suitable care placement, a limit of 20 school days maximum by which to secure that placement and a requirement that every young person is to have a Personal Education Plan issued within 20 school days of entering care (or the school). In addition to the above, all schools are expected to designate teachers with responsibility for young people in care.

In addition to the guidance, DfEE and DH are funding a team of Implementation Advisers to assist local authorities implement the guidance; to collect and disseminate best practice. All English local authorities will be involved through 13 regional networks. Local authorities have been set targets to 'Improve the educational attainment of children looked after, by increasing to at least 50 per cent by 2001 the proportion of children leaving care at 16 or later with a GCSE or GNVQ qualification; and to 75 per cent by 2003.' And this year (2000) a new target was agreed with DH, to improve the educational attainment of children and young people in public care by increasing from 6 per cent in 1998 to 15 per cent in 2004 the proportion of care leavers 16 and over with 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C.

Local authority performance is monitored through Quality Projects indicators collected by DH and the first figures were published in October 2000 indicating that 70 per cent left care with no GCSEs between April 1999 and March 2000.

An objective of the Standards Fund SIPS grant is to improve the educational achievement of children looked after by 2001, As above To support this objective, £5 million was ring-fenced under the Standards Fund Social Inclusion Pupil Support grant (1999/2000), and every LEA was required to report on how they will achieve this objective. For 2001/02, £7m has been allocated to LEAs under the Inclusion heading of the Standards Fund. Additionally the expansion of Quality Protects for a further 2 years has also brought a funding increase from £375 million over 3 years to £885 million over 5. In 2001-02, there will be a separate Standards Fund grant aimed at increasing the attainment of looked-after children.

The Care (Leavers) Bill is currently going through parliament. It places a duty on authorities to assess the needs of 16 & 17 year olds and to help with educational training needs up to the age of 24. All 16 year olds will have a Young Person's Adviser and a Pathway Plan, mapping their route to independence. There is a linked target for local authorities 'Improve the level of education, employment and training for care leavers aged 19, so that the levels for this group are at least 75 per cent of all young people in the same area by 2003/04.'

(U) We urge all those responsible—including those working in the Social Exclusion Unit—urgently to review the effectiveness of current services and spending and to prepare new, better integrated and coordinated action which is focussed on the needs of the child and which will give a better start in life to these vulnerable young people.

See Recommendation G

See Recommendations G and T

(V) The National Curriculum at Key Stage 4 is not appropriate to the needs of many disaffected young people. It is counterproductive to push them into studying physics or French to GCSE level. Time needs to be made available for those who have not yet learned key skills to be taught them. High­quality vocational education, including workplace experience, can be of enormous benefit to those who are disaffected with the more "traditional" school curriculum. Some 14 year olds may re­engage more easily in a non­school environment, such as an FE college or the workplace.

The Government welcomes these conclusions and recommendations. We share the Committee's view that vocational and work-related options delivered as part of a broad and balanced education at Key Stage 4 can be especially effective in raising the motivation and attainment of disaffected and under-achieving young people. Building on commitments in the White Paper, the Government will shortly be allowing schools to disapply elements of the Key Stage 4 National Curriculum in order to enable individual pupils to pursue work-related options where that better meets their educational needs. One of the aims of the forthcoming review of the National Curriculum will be to make the Key Stage 4 curriculum more flexible. The Schools Standards and Framework Bill currently before Parliament contains provisions to increase the flexibility of work-experience and to make it easier for schools and FE colleges to collaborate.

The Government has also been increasing the funding available for work-related learning activity. Locally-devised projects worth at least £5 million will be supported in 1998-99, including through the Standards Fund. By April 1998, we expect these projects to involve pupils in about a quarter of all secondary schools in England. The projects are being rigorously evaluated so that effective practice can be identified and disseminated.

The revised National Curriculum implemented from August 2000 offers increased flexibility for 14-16 year olds. As well as allowing schools to disapply subjects to enable pupils to pursue work-related learning options, individual pupils can now disapply up to two National Curriculum subjects for two new purposes. These allow pupils making less progress than their peers to consolidate their learning by following fewer courses of study, and offer the chance for pupils with strengths and talents in particular areas to emphasise those curriculum areas or subjects. Pupils are often disaffected because their achievement in basic and key skills is low, the first provision is designed to help them. Other pupils often have a particular talent, for example in technology or computers or media arts. The second provision should help to make the curriculum more relevant to pupils who have a marked interest in particular areas, while being disaffected by the majority of the compulsory curriculum.

Pupils may also modify some elements of the curriculum to allow them to pursue courses recently added to the list of approved qualifications for 16 year olds contained in Section 400 of the Education Act 1996. Some examples include Part 1 Science GNVQ, whose programme of study does not fully meet the requirements of the National Curriculum, but which provides a valuable, practical approach to science which may help persuade young people who have not been motivated by academic science, to continue to study the subject to Vocational A level standard. Other additions to the Section 400 list include new AS levels in aspects of Design and Technology, and languages, which should encourage pupils with ability in these subjects to achieve at higher levels.

The wider key skills of improving own learning and performance, problem solving and working with others are currently approved for use pre-16 under Section 400, but only for demonstration projects up until 31 July 2001. However, evidence from these projects shows that pupils at Key Stage 4 gain significant motivation and higher levels of attainment. From September 2001 the legislative basis for approving qualifications transfers to Section 96 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000. We are considering whether to allow the use of the wider key skills from this date as units, not as qualifications, since they are not externally assessed. Details of the qualifications that schools can offer from September 2001 are expected to be published by 31 December 2000 following advice from the Qualification Curriculum Authority, when the position on the wider key skills is expected to be clarified.

The DfEE is continuing to provide support to a range of locally-devised work-related learning projects. An interim evaluation shows improved motivation, attendance, behaviour and achievement amongst the 14-16 year olds taking part.

(W) We were heartened to learn of the range of imaginative projects, often collaborative, that are being carried out in this field. We recommend that the Government continue to enable schools, and other institutions, to provide tailored programmes, which must be monitored over the long­term. Targeted funding should be made available via the Standards Fund and other sources. This flexible provision should, where possible, be combined with existing elements of the 14-16 curriculum.

As above

See Recommendation V

(X) We recognise the value of effective personal and social education and agree with those witnesses who argued for a more focussed PSE curriculum, the effectiveness of which can be measured against clearly defined outcomes.

Too much of current PSE lacks structure and direction. If PSE is to be a success, it must amount to more than high-handed waffle. We believe that a clear and strengthened PSE curriculum has an important role to play in re­engaging disaffected young people and developing citizenship. PSE should not be an "add-on" to the curriculum, but integral to the life of the school. The PSE curriculum should focus on life management skills such as family planning, personal finances, employability, using information and avoiding drug and alcohol misuse.

See Recommendation B

See Recommendation D. A Framework for Personal, Social and Health Education has been guaranteed a place in the National Curriculum from September 2000. The principal mechanism for its delivery is the National Healthy School Standard (NHSS), launched in October 1999. All LEAs have joined forces with their Health Authority to form a Health Education Partnership to support all schools in achieving recognition. To date three Partnerships have received accreditation, with a further sixteen to be accredited in November 2000.

See Recommendation P for details of the Social Inclusion: Pupil Support, Drug Prevention and Youth Service grant.

As part of the development of the new National Curriculum, in 1999 the DfEE published a framework for PSHE. This provides a structured approach to, and strengthens the teaching of, personal, social and health education. The framework will help to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens.

In early 2000, QCA published guidance for the delivery of PSHE and Citizenship. An important aspect of this is the teaching of personal finance. It is intended that this topic should fit within existing structures and require a change of emphasis within the existing curriculum rather than the introduction of new subject matter. The DfEE made available in Summer 2000 'Financial Capability Through Personal Financial Education' guidance for schools for all key stages.

In July 2000, we published our Sex and Relationship Education guidance. The guidance takes account of the revised National Curriculum, the need for guidance arising out of the PSHE framework and the Social Exclusion Unit report on teenage pregnancy.

(Y) We are attracted to the idea of encouraging greater pluralism of qualifications in schools at Key Stage 4, linked with our support for a more flexible curricular offer for this age group. We welcome the Government's plans to give schools more opportunities to offer vocational qualifications such as NVQs, but the Government could do more. We would like to see more widespread use of Part One GNVQs and basic skills qualifications in schools. They provide an extra rung on the qualifications ladder and can help prevent disaffection amongst low achieving pupils. However, these qualifications must rigorously assessed, and gaining them must represent real achievement. We welcome the increasing use of modular courses in schools, including GCSEs, and believe there would be advantage in developing a system for recognising achievement at modular level. (This could perhaps be recorded in each pupil's National Record of Achievement.) Such a change would allow young people to take small steps towards qualifications and would help remove the fear of failure at 16 currently associated with GCSE.

The Government shares the Committee's view about the benefits of giving 14 to 16 year olds access to a wider range of qualifications. We have this year extended the Part One GNVQ pilot to cover more schools, and are working towards making the qualification available to pupils in all secondary schools. We have also approved for use in schools an increased range of vocational qualifications including some NVQs and the IT key skills units, which, together with the Part One GNVQ, provide a wider range of options for disaffected pupils not motivated by traditional academic courses.

We agree with the Committee that the National Record of Achievement (NRA) also offers potential for recognising a wide range of achievement.

The Government believes that these measures will significantly enhance the range of opportunities open to young people in Key Stage 4 alongside the GCSE system, and we will continue to look for ways of building on and developing them. The Government is fully committed to the GCSE, which is well-established, clearly understood and valued in its present form by schools, pupils, parents and employers alike. It has a central role in encouraging and accrediting achievement across a wide range of subjects at Key Stage 4. We intend to ensure that the GCSE remains relevant so that it continues to play that role effectively.

The DfEE continues to widen the range of qualifications available at Key Stage 4. From September 2000 there is a new qualification in key skills covering communication, application of number and IT. Although aimed predominantly at 16-19 year olds it will also be available pre-16. It should help young people who are turned off by traditional teaching and help accredit achievement, e.g. in work-related learning. In addition, we are testing a successor to the National Record of Achievement, called Progress File, which helps young people from age 13 to recognise and build on their achievements.

Also, and as a result of the Key Stage 4 projects referred to at Recommendation V, 17 new NVQ titles have been approved for use in schools. From September 2002, Vocational GCSEs—which will replace Foundation, Intermediate and Part 1 GNVQs—will be available to 14-16 year olds in a range of subject areas.

(Z) Like the Government, we believe that the school performance tables should be revised to reflect more accurately what schools and their pupils achieve. We therefore support the Government's proposals to include an average points score and a progress measure in the performance tables.

School performance tables already enable readers to see the percentage of pupils in each secondary school reaching the end of compulsory schooling with no GCSEs or GNVQs—the principal measure of attainment for the vast majority of pupils of school leaving age.

We are always willing to look at proposals to provide further data in the tables, but this must be balanced against the need to avoid increasing the bureaucratic burden on teachers and schools.

We have recently consulted on new National Targets for Education and Training, and are considering whether to set a target in relation to low-achieving pupils.

A GCSE/GNVQ average point score has been included in the secondary school performance tables since 1998. The Government consulted this year on the principle of including Key Stage 2 score in the primary performance tables from 2001, as well as include special schools at the same time.

Good progress is being made in developing data preparation systems for the introduction of value added measures or progress made from one stage of education to another. The first full measures should be published in the secondary performance tables within the next few years.

(AA) We recommend that the school performance tables be amended to show the number and proportion of pupils who leave without sitting examinations and the number and proportion who gain no qualifications.

As above

Changes were made to the secondary performance tables from 1999 to show the percentage of pupils leaving compulsory schooling with no GCSE or GNVQs. Data showing separately the percentage who did not enter for any examinations and the percentage who entered but did not pass any examinations, could only be obtained by increasing administrative burdens on schools.

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