We have updated our popular Level 3 Transition Matrices, based on the latest DfE published data from 2019 results. The analysis shows pupil progress from Key Stage 4 prior attainment bands to Level 3 qualification grades. The tool includes A Levels, BTECs, IB and a wide range of other Level 3 academic, technical and vocational qualifications, across all subjects.
Explore the interactive visualisation below. Select a qualification type and subject combination from the drop-downs above the chart and the outcomes for each prior attainment band for that qualification are presented as stacked bar charts. This tool includes all students across England, however we can produce versions specific to your local authority, school or college.
For a local authority or school/college specific version, just get in touch
These can be extremely powerful tools to help school or college leaders identify in which Level 3 qualifications particular groups of pupils are more or less likely to achieve higher grades. It can also be a very useful tool to help students pick which Level 3 qualifications to enter.
Three interesting takeaways:
- Science A Level grades seem much more strongly linked to prior attainment than the Arts – for example, only 23 of the 4,008 (0.6%) students with an average of 4 to <5 at KS4, who entered Biology A Level achieved an A or A*, compared to 104 of 1,093 (9.5%) in Art and Design. This is a 16 fold difference. This may be partly explained by students having to take more science and maths than arts qualifications at Key Stage 4, meaning that their average prior attainment is likely to be more strongly related to attainment in sciences than arts.
- Failure rates for students with low prior attainment vary hugely between qualification types, even within the same subject – for example, there was only one U in OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Certificates in Business Studies. Conversely, 11.1% of students with 3 to <4 prior attainment and 20.9% of those with 2 to <3 scored a U in Business Studies A Level
- Outcomes for non-traditional language A Levels are not strongly correlated with prior attainment – in particular, relatively large percentages of students with lower prior attainment achieve top grades for A Levels in languages not traditionally taught in schools, such as Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Japanese and Urdu. This might be explained by students taking A Levels in their first languages.