Bad news for the compulsory school leaving age in Britain

So we all know that our compulsory school leaving age is being increased, to 18 by 2015 (Hodgson and Spours, 2008) and while educational participation and attainment may be on the rise globally as well as nationally we do need to wonder about what the consequences may be.

While I am not an expert on this topic I have come across one piece of information during my literature review for my dissertation that concerns me…

Most OECD countries have a 90% or higher completion of compulsory education.

However 14 OECD countries and associated countries have lower then 90% compulsory education completion, 10 out of 14 of these have a high compulsory attendance leaving age for example around 17 and 18 (OECD, 2012).

While I do not have any direct correlation between the leaving age and the completion of school it seems logical that if someone doesn’t like something they are more likely to leave if they feel that it will last a long time. So having an increased leaving age may have the potential of putting people off attending school.

One way that this could be combated is to give students a meaningful accreditation solely for good attendance at school, this may bring them some incentive to attend until the end of their compulsory education, this is a method used in Japanese kōtōgakkō or upper secondary schools for 15-18year olds (Howarth, 1991).

Hodgson, A and Spours, K (2008). Education and Training 14-19 curriculum, qualifications & organisation. London: Sage Publications LTD.

Howarth, M (1991). Britain’s Educational Reform: A Comparison with Japan. London: Routladge.

OECD (2012) Education Today 2013: The OECD Perspective. OECD Publishing. 

Doing a literature review?

My literature review is due in next month and I haven’t even started it yet!!…truth be told I have spent more time thinking about it and panicking than getting my head down and researching!

I have however at least chosen a topic -‘NEET’ (not in education, employment or training) young people. The title will get more specific when I come around to starting it I’m sure.

Also I have managed to find some information on neet young people through research (searching on google scholar and google books), as of yet I have just piled it up ready to read. This is a tactic of not wanting to deal with the looming assignment I’m sure however, this review will have to be done and needs to be started asap.

How am I planning to cope with this?

Firstly we have arranged one student focus group so far which I went to, during this time we discussed how we are approaching the review and clarified exactly with one another what we thought the assignment is asking us to do.

One previous student has giving us a review to look at which is helpful, holding one in your hand and knowing that it is a real thing is helpful (feeling how light weight it is was helpful for me-not a book or a dissertation at all and in fact it looked manageable).

I also have a guide book called ‘doing a literature review’ by Christ Hart which although I will not read cover to cover -as this would detract from the topic- I have found some useful guidance figures which outline the key stages of developing a literature review which helps to show the next step when you’re not sure what to do.

Another thing I did was speak to my tutor about the piece of work, my tutor told me to stop thinking that this was leading onto a research and dissertation proposal and that viewing it as one piece of work instead of one out of three pieces will make it seem more manageable!

If my literature review goes well I may put it on here in about a month…

If anyone has any suggestions on doing literature reviews I’d be thankful to hear of them!!

Please wish myself and all my class mates good luck!

Thank you

Saz