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Survey of pupils reveals the value of Sixth Form & A Levels but highlights worries about finding a job after university

On the day that pupils across the country receive their A Level results, a survey of United Learning Sixth Formers from academies and fee-paying schools reveals the importance students place on their two years in Sixth Form, their assessment of how Sixth Form develops them and their concerns about finding a job in the UK once they leave university.

  • 580 sixth formers from academies and fee-paying schools take part in the first United Learning Panel survey
  • Results similar in fee-paying independent schools as in academies in  the most deprived areas of the country
  • 92% of students believe sixth form will help their chances of getting a well-paid job, BUT
  • Only 14% believe they will be living where they do now in 10 years’ time
  • 57% of students believe they will have trouble finding a job in the UK when they graduate from university

The Sixth Formers, who form part of the United Learning Panel, have overwhelmingly spoken of the value of Sixth Form:

  • 88% of  respondents say that staying on for Sixth Form has enabled them to study their subjects in much greater depth
  • 76% say they have matured as a person due to the greater freedoms they have
  • 89% say that staying on for Sixth Form has given them greater confidence in their abilities in other aspects of their lives
  • 92% say that it will help their chances of gaining a well-paid job.

In choosing which university to apply to, the most important priority for Sixth Formers is the course they are hoping to study, followed by the likelihood they will be accepted onto the course and thirdly, the reputation of the university. The cost of tuition fees at an individual university is only ranked 8th out of ten priorities.

Looking ahead ten years to 2022, 96% of Sixth Formers surveyed have as their priority to have a job they enjoy, 93% would like a job that pays well with the same numbers wanting to have begun a career with long term potential.

62% of Sixth Formers have a clear idea of what career they want to enter and how to get there. But 57% believe they will have trouble finding a job in the UK when they finish University.

Only 14% of Sixth Formers believe they will be living where they do now in ten years’ time. 26% believe they will be living outside the UK and roughly the same think they will be living in London (23%) or another large city in the UK (24%).

Commenting on the Survey findings Jon Coles, Chief Executive of United Learning said:

“These findings show that students value the importance of their two years in Sixth Form. On the day we are rightly focusing on what has been achieved in their exams it is perhaps too easy to forget the broader skills and developmental opportunities that a good Sixth Form provides. In particular, the focus on independent learning that post 16 schooling gives young people is hugely significant in preparing them for university and their subsequent careers.

“These results also show that the bleak economic outlook has not passed this generation by as they leave school. Even amongst these pupils – who will go on to university – there is a concern about entering the profession of their choice once they graduate. Thus we see their willingness to grab the opportunities presented by the global economy; to move and work abroad or in the UK’s largest cities – as providing an exciting but plausible means of getting established in their careers.

“What is particularly interesting in these findings is that the results are very similar between Sixth Formers at our fee-paying independent schools and our state-funded academies. The values, aspirations and concerns of this generation cuts across geography and background; and in looking at these results you cannot help but be impressed by the commitment and motivation shown by those whose views we have surveyed.

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Posted: Aug 16, 2012,
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Author: Web Support
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