Further education participation

Published

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
  • apprenticeships
  • 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.

These are:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Mixed ethnic groups
  • White
  • Other ethnic groups

2. By ethnicity over time

Percentage and number of participants in further education, by ethnicity over time
Asian Black Mixed White Other
Year Asian % Asian Number Black % Black Number Mixed % Mixed Number White % White Number Other % Other Number
2011/12 8.4 346,860 6.5 267,800 2.5 103,840 80.7 3,342,040 1.9 78,230
2012/13 8.1 340,210 6.5 272,870 2.6 111,700 81.0 3,420,430 1.9 80,140
2013/14 8.0 306,900 6.3 242,300 2.8 106,660 80.9 3,095,990 1.9 74,580
2014/15 8.2 289,230 6.5 228,440 2.9 102,010 80.3 2,821,900 2.0 71,980
2015/16 8.5 271,500 6.5 206,750 3.0 95,240 80.0 2,559,790 2.1 68,330
2016/17 8.8 271,760 6.7 206,600 3.1 94,650 79.1 2,448,260 2.4 72,720
2017/18 9.2 276,510 6.8 202,730 3.2 95,450 78.3 2,350,680 2.6 77,630
2018/19 9.6 276,260 6.8 195,620 3.4 96,650 77.3 2,214,220 2.8 81,600

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

Percentage of participants in further education compared to the overall population, by ethnicity
Ethnicity FE participants Population (2018 estimate)
Asian 9.6 8.4
Black 6.8 3.8
Mixed 3.4 2.8
White 77.3 84.0
Other 2.8 1.1

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

4. Methodology

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.

Rounding

Participant numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Quality and methodology information

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Education and Skills Funding Agency

Publication frequency

Yearly

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.

Secondary source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Note on corrections or updates

The source was updated on 06/09/2019 to incorporate 2018/19 data

Publication frequency

Ad-hoc

Purpose of data source

These estimates have been produced specifically for use as part of the Race Disparity Audit, following discussion with the Race Disparity Unit of their specific requirements and time-frame.

6. Download the data

Further education participation - Spreadsheet (csv) 19 KB

This file contains: measure, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, time, time_type, geography, geography_type, geography_code, gender, age bracket, age bracket type, denominator, numerator, value