Who Achieves Level 2 Qualifications During Adulthood? Evidence from the NCDS
Centre for International Education
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)
affiliation not provided to SSRN
British Journal of Educational Studies, Vol. 55, No. 4, pp. 390-408, 2007
This paper describes the characteristics of people who return to learning to achieve at least a level 2 qualification, drawing on the 1958 National Child Development Cohort Study. Results show that adults who gained level 2 were more likely than those who did not to have been engaged in a range of learning activities at earlier ages, including learning during childhood, staying in education during adolescence and undertaking courses leading and not leading to qualifications during adulthood. The factor that has the highest impact on progression by age 33 and by age 42 is early school attainment. This means that for individuals who do well at school there is a greater chance of achievement of qualifications during adulthood, even when this qualification is not achieved by age 23. We further find that socioeconomic constraints in adulthood may be less of a barrier to progression than is often believed. Taking together, these findings suggest that the main focus should be on paying particular attention to attitudinal barriers to learning, rather than just being concerned with removing economic and social constraints.
Keywords: Progression, Education, Qualifications, UK
Date posted: February 11, 2008