Today we’ve published the findings from one of our first ‘School Choices’ studies, which investigate if the different choices schools make can lead to different outcomes.
We commissioned the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to look at the extent of, and rationale for, offering a two- or three-year Key Stage 4 curriculum in England and investigate how the choices made by schools about the length of their Key Stage 4 affect pupil outcomes at GCSE.
The structure of the national curriculum for secondary schools in England is that Key Stage 3 runs from Year 7 to Year 9 and Key Stage 4 from Year 10 to Year 11. While the national curriculum is compulsory for maintained schools, academy schools (around three-quarters of secondary schools in England) may choose whether to follow it. As a result, some schools have opted to change the length of their Key Stage 4 curriculum, teaching GCSE content over three years.