HC Deb 16 November 1987 vol 122 cc390-1W
Rev. Martin Smyth

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 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 statistics for school-leavers with a breakdown of the qualifications they gain.

Dr. Mawhinney

[holding answer 9 November 1987]: For the purposes of the annual statistical survey of school leavers in Northern Ireland, the qualifications, other than GCE O-levels, recorded by my Department are GCE A-level, CSE, and other qualifications such as City arid Guilds certificates, RSA certificates, Pitman's certificates, BTEC certificate and diplomas, and certificates of pre-vocational education.

Based on the latest information available (1985–86) the proportion of school leavers with "other" qualifications, irrespective of whether they obtained GCE A-level or O- level or CSE qualification, is 17.6 per cent.

A breakdown of the highest qualifications obtained by school leavers in 1985–86 is as follows:

Number Proportion (Percentage)
3 or more 'A' levels 3,529 13.2
2 'A' levels 1,763 6.6
1'A' level 1,014 3.8
5 or more higher grade 'O' levels1 3,297 12.3
1–4 higher grade 'O' levels1 5,865 21.9
Other GCE/CSE grades2 5,498 20.4
Other qualifications 628 2.3
No qualification 5,237 19.5
Total 26,831 100.0
1 Grades A-C only and Grade 1 CSE.
2Includes CSE (grades 2–5) and GCE 'O' level (grades D-E).