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A level Completion rates in a college

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Welshteach, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. Welshteach

    Welshteach New commenter

    Hi
    Just looking for some general feedback from AS Maths teachers, or possibly managers.

    College target of 85% successful completion on all courses in college, with a view of pushing to 90% long term, subject or qualification is irrelevant.

    Attainment rate (A-E%) from league tables for AS maths is about 84%
    In theory, we could beat all national comparators in AS maths, but still end up in special measures! o_Oo_O

    Is there a source that could help me find out some information regarding successful completion. If I go to management with this i`d like some solid evidence, before I open my mouth.
    Any thoughts would be welcome. What is the general successful completion in maths around the Uk.
    It seems fundamentally wrong to set the target completion rate above the national comparator for attainment.
     
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    That 84% is presumably of those who get entered, rather than those who start the course, too.
     
    Welshteach likes this.
  3. Welshteach

    Welshteach New commenter

    Hi Frustum
    Yes 84%( ish)of students who sit in June get A-E.
    We are being asked to get a bare minimum of 85% (looking to 90% in future) of students who start the course (October cut off) at least an E grade. So basically dropouts are U grades.
     
    gainly likes this.
  4. gainly

    gainly Senior commenter

    Whether this is a realistic target would depend on the selection criteria for who is allowed to do A level maths. Where I live there are still grammar schools. They would do significantly better than 90% but by having very rigorous entry requirements for maths. Most have a separate entrance exam (all algebra) which must be taken by anyone wanting to do A level maths, including internal candidates. Of course this means the non-selective schools do significantly worse as they are left with those who don't get into grammar schools.
     
    Welshteach likes this.
  5. Welshteach

    Welshteach New commenter

    No we are a completely open access college.
    If you get a B grade in maths and 4 other GCSEs you are in. We obviously do try to separate the wheat from the chaff before cut off, but it's not the easiest thing to do.
    If we decide in October that they don't cut it, it can be very difficult to move them. It's our responsibility to convince parents & to convince other course tutors to take our "rejects" so to speak. Obviously maths teacher s are not very popular in the staff room around October half term.
    Despite these issues, I am personally ridiculously pleased with my results. I generally meet or exceed national comparators in terms of exam results. However there is always the threat of special measures as due to drop outs our successful completion rate is usually around 80% due to dropouts.
     
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    Why are you not doing the full A Level Course? You are setting yourself up for a fall - if you prove how great you are at AS -only for all the students to not stay. Where do your students go after?

    Why not drop the AS and focus on the full A Level Courses?
     
    Welshteach likes this.
  7. Welshteach

    Welshteach New commenter

    Without giving too much away, I'm Wales.
    Our system is pretty much like the old English system.
    What were successful completion rates like for AS a couple of years ago? I guess that would be the best comparison.
     
  8. Welshteach

    Welshteach New commenter

    I'm in total agreement with you by the way. If we go all out to get a weak student an E grade, I'm fully aware of the consequences for A2!
    Unfortunately management do not see it this way.
    It's a blanket requirement on all courses.
    I'm basically looking for ways for them to see the light!
     
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    If you google it I am sure that will help. But comparing AS results now - with AS results years ago would not be a fair comparison anyway...
     
    Welshteach likes this.
  10. install

    install Star commenter

    There will be evidence on the dfes website or on google to show the drop in AS entries over the past three years :)
     
    Welshteach likes this.
  11. Welshteach

    Welshteach New commenter

    Thanks Install, all usefully info!
    Still looking for the successful completion number though.
    It's like one of the most closely guarded piece of statistics ever!
    You can't really compare results without looking at successful completion.
    If a school or college has pulled half their cohort in order to get better raw results, a comparison is pretty meaningless. Even then there are other factors before October cut off.
    As I understand schools do not have this measurement yet. Although I was under the impression colleges at least in Wales are required to submit it, did English colleges have to work with it under the old regime?
    Just annoyed as been having best results of my career through sheer hard work, and I'm still potentially in the dog house!
     
  12. Welshteach

    Welshteach New commenter

    The Welsh system is similar in framework to before. A different split in weighting but AS is needed to proceed to A2
    Essentially what I'm getting at is that there is an expectation that AS maths falls in line with every other course in the college, be that art, a btec or a life skills course.
    I just feel that management have not quite appreciated that it's natural for some students to not be successful at AS maths, as it's blooming hard!
    I'm just trying to find some hard data to show that a potentially 90% successful completion is a tad bit unreasonable!
    I mean we could do it, just pick out the top students in a year in November and kick everyone else off! ( Though there's no clear path way for them to go anywhere!)
    We are very much an open access college serving the general community, so this all seems a bit counterproductive!
    Apart from financial implications, we would be turning away potentially good mathematicians.
    After natural wastage we either equal or beat national comparators on results.
     
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    Why don't you look on the Exam Board websites ? They may help to show comparisons . Can your lm guide and support you further ?
     
    Welshteach likes this.
  14. install

    install Star commenter

    Ok. So the real issue seems to be a lack of appropriate Courses and poor support for your Course from your lm. Another approach will be to network with similar places and find out how many they have on their AS Maths Courses initially -it will most likely be a low number, but I could be wrong.
     
    Welshteach likes this.
  15. Welshteach

    Welshteach New commenter

    Thanks Install, yes Il have to do a bit of searching round.
    If the successful completion was published transparently there really would be no problem.
    Thanks for your help!
     
    install likes this.
  16. gainly

    gainly Senior commenter

    I think what they are asking is almost impossible. Given your intake I think your results are very impressive. I realise that doesn't help you. I know some schools try to frighten off unsuitable students by stressing how hard maths is. Maybe you could try to discourage them from starting maths rather than having to move them on.

    I'm not sure whether it is possible to find the information you want as I think dropouts would normally be excluded from any statistics.

    With the reformed A levels in England most schools no longer do AS exams. They would usually only be taken by students who planned to drop maths after year 12 i.e. generally the weaker students.
     
    Welshteach likes this.
  17. Welshteach

    Welshteach New commenter

    Thank you Gainly, much appreciated!
    We do scare off the majority of B grades, but it's still tough. We are not overwhelmed with them.
    I should say that my management are lovely, it's just this target that keeps coming up in meetings, and although they are gentle with the staff the "results improvement" label does grate a little.
    I just need them to see it, I will keep pushing for contacts at other institutions to see whether we can get some transparency on the issue!
    Thank you for your reassurance Gainly!
     
  18. jcstev

    jcstev New commenter

    I used to teach in sixth form colleges in England. There were three percentage calculations we had to work with/had targets for.
    1) Retention - the proportion of those on course at the October who made it to the exam (regardless of outcome). This mattered because dropouts cost us money.
    2) Pass rate - proportion of those who sat the exam who passed. This mattered (especially at A2) for reputation.
    3) Success rate - proportion of those on course at the October cut off who passed - this mattered because it was the key figure used by Ofsted. This was introduced because pass rates were too easy to game, by not entering weak students.
    For colleges, for AS, the benchmark figures were around 90% for retention, 85% for pass rate and 75% for success.
    For the new A-levels, which I haven't taught, I figures will be very different.
     
    Welshteach likes this.
  19. Welshteach

    Welshteach New commenter

    Jcstev, Thank You that is exactly what I'm looking for!
    This fall's falls in line with what I thought. Can I just ask is that just for maths AS or AS in general?
    Thanks!
     
  20. Welshteach

    Welshteach New commenter

    And just taking a guess here, would it be
    75% satisfactory
    80% good
    85% outstanding
    Please correct me if I'm wrong I'm just trying to guess!
    Thanks
     

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