Using PLR data to model cohort sizes

Educational providers can use the personal learning record (PLR) database to directly access records of qualifications, including GCSE maths and English, achieved by learners making applications or studying at their organisation.  This can be used to model and predict cohorts for curriculum planning purposes.

Listen to how this has happened at Walsall college:

Using current cohort data

Data can be analysed for the current cohort of 16-19 study programme learners at your organisation to find out what percentage achieved GCSE maths and/or English grade D at school. This will enable you to:

  • calculate the percentage of those with grade Ds who are currently re-sitting GCSE maths/English
  • predict the number of learners who are likely to need to re-sit GCSE maths/English in the coming academic year
  • plan maths/English staffing requirements the coming academic year.

Such analysis will also enable you to see how many learners:

  • achieved grades A*-C at school, and who may want to study maths or English at Level 3 (e.g. the new core maths qualifications)
  • achieved grades E or below (or have achieved no GCSE grade), who could be entered for either GCSE or functional skills qualifications.

Refining the model using summer exam results
GCSE summer exam results are available on the PLR database within 10 days of their release. This allows providers to validate their initial modeling and refine their predictions of cohort sizes in early September.

Using PLR dataDownload a PDF version of these questions here.