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Open Access The impact of accountability reforms on the Key Stage 4 curriculum: How have changes to school and college Performance Tables affected pupil access to qualifications and subjects in secondary schools in England?

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The Conservative–Liberal Democrat Coalition Government's reforms to secondary school Performance Tables have changed how schools make decisions about the subjects and qualifications entered by their pupils. The National Pupil Database is used to explore these changes between 2005 and 2014. We find that schools are responding to accountability reforms by changing access to subjects and qualifications for pupils: entry rates for English Baccalaureate qualifications have increased, while those for qualifications no longer counted as a result of the Coalition's response to the Wolf Review have decreased. However, reforms have not yet led to equal access to subjects and qualifications for all pupils.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 18, 2015

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  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

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