Effective Support for Lower Attaining Learners

Undertaken on behalf of the Department for Education, the aims of this qualitative research study were to identify and report upon:

  • Good practice in the recruitment and teaching of post-16 students operating at Entry Level and Level 1.
  • The types of provision and support that best meet the needs of these students.

Our team undertook in-depth, semi-structured consultations with staff and Entry/Level 1 students in 15 post-16 education and skills providers across England. The sample intentionally included a concentration of providers who, based on performance data, appeared to be effective at supporting Entry/Level 1 students to achieve Level 2 qualifications. At each provider we consulted with senior managers, recruitment and enrolment teams, academic and pastoral support staff, department heads, teaching staff and students. A total of 200 people consultees contributed to the study.

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  • "It’s a great report, and I’ve submitted it to the Ofsted inspection team." – Strategic Commissioner, local authority

  • “Thanks for such a thoughtful report. It will be very useful to us and other organisations. Another great job from York Consulting!” Local Authority Director

  • “Thank you for this very helpful evaluation. I have only received positive feedback on it. It has been great working with you.” Local Authority Head of Service

  • “Your report was extremely thorough, and I appreciate how responsive you were to our additional requests for analysis.” Government department

  • “The team at York Consulting were professional and a delight to work with. I am very grateful for their input.” Government department

  • "Well done – a lot of work in a short space of time and at such high quality.” Sector Skills Council

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  • "It [YCL’s final report] is one of the most impressive evaluation reports I’ve had the pleasure to read.” Principal, Further Education College

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  • “I’ve enjoyed working with you on this project. Thanks for your co-operation and flexibility.” Government department