Further education participation
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1. Main facts and figures
in the 8 years to July 2019, the total number of people in further education in England fell by 30.6%, from 4.2 million to 2.9 million
during the same period, the percentage of people in further education from the Asian, Black, Mixed, and Other ethnic groups increased from 19.3% to 22.6%
however, the number of students from these ethnic groups decreased from 796,730 to 650,130
the number of White students fell by 33.7%, from 3.3 million to 2.2 million
in the academic year ending July 2019, White people made up 77.3% of those in further education, and 84.0% of the overall population of England
Things you need to know
Each reporting period covers an academic year, which runs from 1 August to 31 July.
In the academic year ending 2012, the single individualised learner record (ILR) data collection system was introduced. This means that figures for the academic year ending 2012 onwards are not directly comparable to earlier years.
What the data measures
This data measures the number of people taking part in further education, by ethnicity.
Further education includes:
- classroom and work-based learning
- community learning
- learning by offenders
It is offered by a range of providers, including colleges and external institutions. The data only includes people funded by the government.
A person studying on more than one course with a single provider is counted once. A person who studies with more than one provider in an academic year will be counted separately at each, and will be counted as 2 or more participants.
The data has been compared to population estimates for 2018 published by the Office for National Statistics.
The ethnic categories used in this data
The data has been classified using the 5 standardised ethnic groups based on the 2011 Census.
- Mixed ethnic groups
- Other ethnic groups
2. By ethnicity over time
|Year||Asian %||Asian Number||Black %||Black Number||Mixed %||Mixed Number||White %||White Number||Other %||Other Number|
Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)
Summary of Further education participation By ethnicity over time Summary
The data shows that:
the percentage of people in further education from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined increased from 19.3% to 22.6% in the 8 years to July 2019
the percentage of people in further education from the Asian ethnic group went up from 8.4% to 9.6%
it went up from 6.5% to 6.8% for the Black ethnic group, and from 2.5% to 3.4% for the Mixed ethnic group
the number of people in further education fell by 30.6% in the 8 years to July 2019
the number of people from all ethnic groups except the White group fell by 18.4%
the number of people in further education from the Other ethnic group increased by 4.3%
the number of people in further education from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined reached its peak in the academic year ending July 2013
3. By ethnicity compared with the overall population
|Ethnicity||FE participants||Population (2018 estimate)|
Download table data for ‘By ethnicity compared with the overall population’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity compared with the overall population’ (CSV)
Summary of Further education participation By ethnicity compared with the overall population Summary
The data shows:
White people made up 77.3% of people in further education, and 84.0% of the overall population of England (based on 2018 population estimates from the Office for National Statistics)
Black people made up 6.8% of all people in further education, and 3.8% of the overall population
people from the Other ethnic group made up 2.8% of all people in further education, and 1.1% of the overall population
The data is based on students’ ‘individualised learner records’. These are submitted by further education providers to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
The records use information collected about students by further education providers. They also include any data from employers that forms part of the employer ownership pilot.
Data about students’ demographics and the type of learning they're doing is used by ESFA to allocate funding. Ethnicity data is completed by the students, and no adjustments are made by the learning provider.
Participant numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10.
Quality and methodology information
5. Data sources
FE data library: further education and skills
Type of data
Type of statistic
Education and Skills Funding Agency
Purpose of data source
Data about people in further education and their type of learning is used by Education and Skills Funding Agency to allocate funding for further education.
Ethnic group, national identity, language, and religion: Census 2021 in England and Wales
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
Purpose of data source
The Census takes place every 10 years. Census data gives the government the information it needs to plan and run public services. It is also used as a benchmark for other statistical estimates, and can help illustrate differences between various groups in the population.
6. Download the data
This file contains: measure, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, time, time_type, geography, geography_type, geography_code, gender, age bracket, age bracket type, denominator, numerator, value