Ofqual & YouGov
This report presents the findings of Wave 17 of the Perceptions Survey. This survey was originally commissioned by the QCA in 2003 to annually assess perceptions of GCSE and A-Level systems. The survey was undertaken with seven different sample groups referred to collectively as ‘stakeholders’. This group consisted of 395 head teachers; 782 teachers of GCSE, A-Level and other academic/vocational qualifications; 254 young people aged 14-19; 260 parents; 298 academic professionals; 262 employers; and 1,005 members of the public. The sample was designed to be representative of the wider population covering maintained, academy, free and independent schools, FE colleges and sixth form centres. The survey followed the same approach used in waves 13-16 and was conducted online between October and November 2018.
Amongst this report’s key findings, 59% of all stakeholders agreed with the statement “GCSEs are well understood by people”. Two thirds of employers agreed with this statement while around only half of teachers and headteachers agreed. The proportion of respondents that believed GCSEs are good preparation for the world of work has continued to decline since Wave 15, which was published in 2017. Only a third of all respondents agreed that GCSEs are good preparation for the world of work, with only 31% of headteachers agreeing. 37% of all stakeholders agreed that A-Levels were good preparation for work and 39% agreed that Applied General Qualifications were good preparation.