§ Rev. Martin Smyth
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what qualifications for school leavers are recognised by his Department other than O-levels;what proportion of pupils leaving school qualify in these examinations; what are the proportions for O-level; and if he will publish the most recent statistics for school leavers with a breakdown of the qualifications they gain.
§ Mr. Dunn
It is open to schools to offer courses leading to whichever qualifications they regard as appropriate. The main nationally recognised qualifications obtained by school leavers at 16 plus are GCE O level and CSE, which will be replaced by the general certificate of secondary education from summer 1988.
The proportions of school leavers in 1985–86 achieving graded results in the O-level/CSE examinations is just over 90 per cent. Further information on these qualifications is published in "Statistics of Education, Volume 2 (School Leavers CSE and GCE)", copies of which are in the Library.
Information from the youth cohort study indicates that approximately 15 per cent. of maintained school pupils in their last compulsory school year attempt examinations other than those offered by the CSE and GCE examination boards, mainly those offered by BTEC, RSA and CGLI.