The Increased Flexibility Programme (IFP) was the first national programme which formalised partnership working between post-16 and pre-16 education providers to deliver a broader curriculum for young people at key stage 4. Since its inception, the programme has expanded in the context of a continuing focus on improving the curriculum and qualification routes for 14 to 16 year olds and integrating these into a 14 to 19 framework.

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) commissioned the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to undertake a national evaluation of the first and second cohorts of IFP students, in order to examine the extent to which the aims and objectives of the IFP were being met.

This research brief focuses on the outcomes for young people who participated in the programme between 2003 and 2005 (cohort 2) during a time of change in 14 to 19 policy.


  • Introduction
  • Key findings
  • Summary
  • Implications for policy and practice
  • Summary of research methods
  • Additional information