Back on track: exploring how a Further Education college re-motivates learners to re-sit previously failed qualifications at GCSE

Anderson, N. and Peart, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-9498-0104, 2016. Back on track: exploring how a Further Education college re-motivates learners to re-sit previously failed qualifications at GCSE. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 21 (3), pp. 196-213. ISSN 1359-6748

PubSub5479_Peart.pdf - Post-print

Download (573kB) | Preview


Underachievement at GCSE level has significant effects on an individual’s life chances.Each year, around half of 16-year-olds leave school without having achieved a full level two qualification (five GCSEs at A*-C including English and maths). Many of these students enrol on a programme of study at local Further Education (FE) colleges. Recent Coalition government reforms, including Raising the Participation Age (RPA) and compulsory English and Maths study up to aged 19, have reaffirmed FE as an agent to improve students' life chances andact as a catalyst to reduce youth unemployment. FE colleges provide a 'second chance' for learners who have failed at school. This research shows students who have previously attended low-performing schools, arrive with low motivation, low levels of self-efficacy and a negative perception of education. Focus group discussions with GCSE resit students studying at FE, followed by individual interviews, revealed that school experience of unprofessional teacher-pupil relationships, a lack of discipline, inconsistently applied sanctions, a lack of academic support and prevalent low level disruption all contributed to demotivating the students. The data revealed students’ experience at college was significantly different when compared to secondary school. Professional and supportive relationships with teachers, classroom management strategies leading to learner ownership and autonomy, consistently applied behaviour management practices and visible senior leadership, enabled learners to reengage in education at FE and successfully resit their GCSE qualifications.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Research in Post-Compulsory Education
Creators: Anderson, N. and Peart, S.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2016
Volume: 21
Number: 3
ISSN: 1359-6748
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 09 Jun 2016 11:01
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2018 03:00

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year