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Rethinking “Early Leavers” as “Partial Achievers”

Kerry advocates adopting a new lens for assessing achievement. Rather than tarnishing all early leavers with the same brush, we should recognise and report on the accomplishments of partial achievers.

In the world of further education, the term “early leavers” often carries a negative connotation. It implies that those who don’t complete their programmes have somehow failed or given up. From an Ofsted perspective, if the data shows high numbers of early leavers on any programme with no evidence to explain reasons for leaving, the pendulum swings towards a likely negative outcome of an inspection.

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