Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - RAEAA (The relationship between Aspirations, Expectations and Achievement: Analysing the Longitudinal Survey of Young People in England)

In the first part of this project, it proposes a new typology of educational aspirations, expectations and achievement. This typology is derived from combinations of aspirations, expectations and achievement, creating eight possible combinations of aligned and irregular profiles. To devise this new typology, data from the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) panel survey and matching administrative data from the National Pupil Database (NPD) were utilised. These data were collected in 2004 from a sample of 15,770 young people (YP) aged 13 to 14 attending 647 different schools in England. This study demonstrates that aspirations, expectations and achievement do converge amongst some students; but for most young people they do not always intersect. Many young people succeed academically, but without necessarily developing high aspirations or high expectations. For one out of every five young people, high aspirations and high expectations do not lead to academic achievement. The findings in this paper provide a distinct analytical framework for further research and policy development in this area.

In the second part of the project, using the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), this study examines how different combinations of aspirations, expectations and school achievement can influence students’ future educational behaviour (applying to university at the age of 17-18). The study shows that students with either high aspirations or high expectations have higher school achievement than those with both low aspirations and low expectations. Furthermore, complete alignment between high aspirations, high expectations and high achievement is the most important predictor of future educational behaviour amongst students. However, it is also found that low expectations do not negatively impact students’ future behaviour when they have high aspirations accompanied with high school achievement. Additionally, the study finds significant ethnic differences in favour of white students at GCSE level, but that these differences are reversed in relation to applying to university at the age of 17-18.

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United Kingdom