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Title: Youth transitions : an investigation into how effectively Curriculum 2000 has broadened the Advanced level curriculum and how this has affected students' career aspirations
Author: Aynsley, Sarah.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2422 164X
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2004
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The main focus of this thesis is on evaluating the reform programme of the Advanced level curriculum for 16-19 year olds, entitled Qualifyingfor Success (QFS), which was introduced into schools and colleges in England in September 2000. Chapter 1 of this thesis explores some of the main influences on the development of postcompulsory education and training between 1973 and 2000. The chapter (1) summarises the major societal and economic influences that led to the transformation of the labour market and current social practices; (2) analyses reforms to the post-compulsory curriculum in order to establish which education reforms over the last thirty years in England have contributed to mass participation in post compulsory education and training, higher achievement rates and increased entry to Higher Education; (3) explores the linkages between post-compulsory education reform and modifications in labour market trends; (4) examines the influences that led to the reform and diversification of the Advanced level curriculum; and (5) addresses the issue of why there is still a significant minority of young people who are not included in the new trajectory of lifelong learning for all. The Curriculum 2000 reforms promoted a radical restructuring of the Advanced level post-compulsory curriculum. In order to evaluate the reform process, this thesis gathered data from a three year longitudinal study by tracking a group of students through their experiences of post-compulsory education and through interviewing senior managers at the different stages of the policy implementation. Chapter 3 of this thesis analyses whether the Advanced level curriculum had been broadened by considering a variety of mechanisms: the use of AS levels, the inclusion of General Studies and other enrichment activities and the incorporation of Key Skills. This chapter concludes by acknowledging that the Curriculum 2000 reform programme contributed to a certain broadening of the Advanced level curriculum but not as much as had been envisaged. The second data analysis chapter, Chapter 4, provides an analysis of the complex transitions from education to work made by a group of young people in East Sussex. The chapter begins by outlining theoretical approaches to youth transitions. This is followed by a review of the literature relating to the inclusion of student voice within educationalresearch in order to provide a context for my decision to place emphasis on the young peoples' own perspective on this transitional period of their lives. The later sections of the chapter analyse the multitude of factors which can contribute to shaping young peoples' career choices. These include; (1) gender differences in qualification achievement and; (2) the effects this can have on occupational choice; (3) how the experience of a broader Advanced level curriculum can affect post-compulsory subject choices and subsequent career decisions and; (4) the role of part-time paid work. A key underlying theme within this chapter is the emphasis given to agency in the students' career decision making and, in conclusion, I suggest that many of the students make pragmatically rational decisions when faced with choices in post-compulsory education
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available