The data used for this analysis comes from the National Pupil Database.
In 2016/17, students are included in this measure if both the following apply:
- they completed their studies at the end of the 2016/17 academic year, or are aged 18 years at the start of the academic year and have not been reported in the performance tables at their current allocated provider
- they were entered for at least one A level qualification during their 16 to 18 studies (including A/AS levels, applied single A/AS levels, applied double A/AS levels or combined A/AS level)
Characteristics such as ethnicity and free school meal eligibility are not routinely or consistently collected for students aged 16 to 18 years. To get characteristics data for these students, characteristics data is sourced from school census data collected when they were at the end of key stage 4. This method means 82% of students entering one or more A level or applied A level who completed 16 to 18 study in 2016/17 have ethnicity information available.
Students who were unmatched might have:
- attended an independent school before their A levels and therefore not been captured in the school census
- moved to England after the school census data was collected
The distribution of characteristics of the unmatched students is likely to be different from those who have been matched, particularly because students from independent schools are more likely to have high attainment at the end of key stage 4, before starting their 16 to 18 study. In 2016/17 the percentage of students achieving 3 A grades or better for all students was 13.4%. For matched students this figure was 11.1%, and for unmatched students it was 23.7%.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
The Code of Practice for Official Statistics requires DfE to take reasonable steps to ensure that their published or disseminated statistics protect confidentiality.
For more information about DfE’s disclosure control procedures for its statistical releases please see DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality (PDF).
Percentages in the charts and tables are rounded to the nearest 1 decimal place.