Destinations of school pupils after key stage 4 (usually aged 16 years)

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • overall, 94% of pupils went into education, apprenticeships or employment for at least 2 terms after finishing key stage 4 in July 2016
  • 5% of pupils had no sustained education, apprenticeship or employment, and the destination was unknown for a further 1%
  • over 90% of pupils from nearly every ethnic group went into education, apprenticeships or employment – the exceptions were Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish heritage pupils, where the figures were 66% and 73% respectively
  • overall, the percentage of pupils going into education, apprenticeships or employment went up by 5 percentage points compared with 2010/11 (from 89% to 94%); a higher percentage of pupils did so from every ethnic group except Gypsy/Roma
  • pupils from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups were consistently the most likely out of all ethnic groups to go into education, apprenticeships or employment every year during the period studied
  • Mixed White and Black Caribbean pupils were less likely to stay in education in 2016/17, compared with the national average
  • in 2016/17, Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish heritage pupils were the least likely to stay in education (at 56% and 55% respectively), but the most likely to go into employment (at 7% and 11% respectively); however, it is not possible to draw firm conclusions about these groups due to the small number of pupils in key stage 4
Things you need to know

This data only includes the immediate destinations of pupils in the year after finishing key stage 4 study, not longer term outcomes. It doesn’t measure the quality of the education or employment, for example, whether work or study is full or part time, the level of pay, or the level of study.

The data comes from administrative sources recording enrolment in schools and colleges in England and universities in the UK, matched tax and benefit data and some local authority records of young people's activity.

Not all destinations could be captured - for example, if people went into work or study overseas or attended a school or college in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, their destination would be unknown. Destinations were captured for 97% to 99% of all ethnic groups except Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish Heritage pupils, where the figures were 91% and 93% respectively.

In 2014/15 an additional data source was introduced which increased employment outcomes by around one percentage point.

The Code of Practice for Official Statistics requires Department for Education (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.

To help preserve anonymity, pupil numbers have been rounded to the nearest 5.

What the data measures

This data shows the destinations of pupils who completed key stage 4 in state-funded mainstream schools in England in 2016, based on what they did in the first 2 terms of the following academic year (October 2016 to March 2017).

The total of all pupils who completed key stage 4 was used to calculate percentages of outcomes for each category.

Key stage 4 covers school years 10 and 11, when children are aged 14 to 16 years. Most pupils work towards national qualifications – usually GCSEs.

The data shows destinations by ethnic group for 7 school years from 2010/11 to 2016/17.

There are 4 main categories that show whether pupils:

  • stayed in education
  • went into an apprenticeship
  • went into employment or training
  • didn’t stay in education or go into employment for at least 2 terms

There’s an extra category (‘unknown’) to show where this information wasn’t captured.

To be counted as having been in education, pupils must have had sustained education participation recorded for 6 months from October to March immediately after key stage 4. Students who combined education and employment are counted as being in education.

To be counted as having been in an apprenticeship, pupils must have started an apprenticeship at any point in the year and continued it for at least 6 months.

To be counted as having been in employment, pupils must have had sustained employment recorded in 5 out of 6 months from October to March. Additionally, they must have been in employment or training in April, if not in March.

Pupils who completed some education or employment from October to March immediately after key stage 4, but for less than the required time, are counted as having no sustained education or employment.

The ethnic categories used in this data

This data uses categories from the Department for Education’s school census, which is broadly based on the 2001 national Census, with 3 exceptions:

  • Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma pupils have been separated into 2 categories
  • Sri Lankan has been added to the Asian/Asian British group but is not reported separately
  • Chinese pupils have been assigned a separate category

These changes were made after consultations with local authorities and lobby groups.

The categories in the school census are as follows:

White:

  • British
  • Irish
  • Gypsy/Roma
  • Traveller of Irish heritage
  • Any Other White background

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Any Other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Sri Lankan
  • Any Other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • African
  • Caribbean
  • Any Other Black/African/Caribbean background

Chinese

Other ethnic group

Unknown (where no ethnicity is recorded)

Information about destinations is provided for both detailed and broad ethnic groups where possible and when the data is available.

The 6 broad categories used are as follows:

  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • Chinese
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
  • White
  • Other ethnic group

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of pupils going into sustained education, employment or apprenticeships after key stage 4, by ethnicity
Ethnicity Education, apprenticeships or employment Education Apprenticeships Employment No sustained education/employment Unknown
% % % % % %
All 94 86 5 3 5 1
Asian 95 93 1 1 3 1
Bangladeshi 95 93 2 1 4 1
Indian 97 96 1 1 2 1
Pakistani 94 92 1 1 4 1
Asian other 95 93 1 1 3 2
Black 94 92 1 1 4 2
Black African 95 93 1 1 3 2
Black Caribbean 93 89 2 2 6 1
Black other 94 90 2 1 5 2
Chinese 98 97 0 0 1 1
Mixed 92 87 3 2 6 1
Mixed White/Asian 94 89 3 2 5 1
Mixed White/Black African 93 89 3 2 5 1
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 91 83 4 3 8 1
Mixed other 93 89 2 2 5 2
White 94 85 6 3 5 1
White British 94 85 6 4 5 1
White Irish 94 88 4 2 5 1
Gypsy/Roma 66 56 3 7 25 9
Irish Traveller 73 55 8 11 20 6
White other 93 89 2 2 5 3
Other 93 91 1 1 4 3
Unknown 90 83 4 4 8 2

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • overall, in 2016/17, 86% of pupils went into education after completing key stage 4 (making this the national average); 5% went into apprenticeships; 3% went into employment and 5% had no sustained education or employment
  • pupils from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups were the most likely out of all ethnic groups to stay in education, at 97% and 96% respectively
  • 6% of White British pupils went into apprenticeships after key stage 4 in 2016/17 - the only ethnic group where the percentage was higher was Traveller of Irish Heritage (at 8%), but it is not possible to draw firm conclusions about this group due to the small number of pupils in key stage 4
  • pupils from the Chinese ethnic group were the least likely to go into employment out of all ethnic groups, at less than half a percent (this shows as 0% in the table due to rounding)
  • White British, and Mixed White and Black Caribbean pupils were less likely to stay in education (85% and 83% respectively) in 2016/17, than the national average for all pupils
  • Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish Heritage pupils were the least likely to stay in education (at 56% and 55% respectively), but the most likely to go into employment (7% and 11% respectively) – however, it is not possible to draw firm conclusions about these groups due to the small number of pupils in key stage 4
  • Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish Heritage pupils (at 25% and 20% respectively) were much more likely to have no sustained education or employment compared with the national average (5%)

3. By ethnicity over time

Percentage of pupils going into sustained education, employment or apprenticeships after key stage 4, by ethnicity over time
Ethnicity 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
% % % % % % %
All 89 89 91 92 94 94 94
Asian 93 92 94 95 95 96 95
Bangladeshi 92 91 93 95 94 96 95
Indian 95 96 96 97 97 98 97
Pakistani 90 90 92 93 94 94 94
Asian other 94 93 94 95 96 96 95
Black 91 91 94 94 94 94 94
Black African 93 92 95 95 95 95 95
Black Caribbean 89 89 92 93 93 93 93
Black other 89 91 93 93 94 94 94
Chinese 97 97 97 98 97 98 98
Mixed 88 89 90 92 93 93 92
Mixed White/Asian 91 91 93 93 94 94 94
Mixed White/Black African 87 89 91 93 94 94 93
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 86 86 87 89 91 91 91
Mixed other 89 90 91 92 94 93 93
White 89 89 90 92 94 94 94
White British 89 89 90 92 94 94 94
White Irish 89 89 92 92 93 94 94
Gypsy/Roma 67 61 62 68 68 65 66
Irish traveller 60 50 62 55 67 69 73
White other 90 89 91 91 92 93 93
Other 91 90 92 93 93 93 93
Unknown 86 88 90 91 92 90 90

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • overall, between 2010/11 and 2016/17, the percentage of pupils going into education, apprenticeships or employment went up from 89% to 94% – this was mostly due to an increase in those staying in education (from 82% to 86%)
  • a higher percentage of pupils from every ethnic group went into education, apprenticeships or employment in 2016/17 compared with 2010/11, with the exception of pupils from the Gypsy/Roma group
  • between 2010/11 and 2016/17, there was a 6 percentage point increase in pupils from the Mixed White and Black African ethnic group going into education, apprenticeships or employment – this was the largest increase out of all ethnic groups except for the Traveller of Irish Heritage group (which has a small number of pupils in key stage 4)
  • out of all ethnic groups, pupils from the Chinese and Indian groups were most likely to stay in education in 2016/17 (at 97% and 96% respectively) – these groups had the highest percentage of pupils staying in education, apprenticeships or employment every year since 2010/11
  • the percentages of Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish heritage pupils going into education, apprenticeships or employment varied substantially over the years between 2010/11 and 2016/17 (due in part to the relatively small numbers of pupils), but they were consistently the lowest among all ethnic groups

4. Methodology

Data from the national pupil database (NPD) is used to calculate education destinations. The NPD links pupil and student characteristics (for example, age, gender, and ethnicity) to school and college learning aims and attainment information for children in schools in England.

Five administrative data sources are used in compiling the NPD and have been used to determine pupils’ education destinations:

  • individualised learner record (ILR) covering English further education providers and specialist post-16 institutions
  • school census covering English schools (including pupil referral units)
  • awarding body data
  • alternative provision census
  • Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) data covering UK universities

Since 2014/15, employment data and out-of-work benefit data has been linked to the national pupil database to form the longitudinal education outcomes (LEO) dataset. Along with local authority data, LEO data is used to calculate employment destinations.

Employment data came from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Out-of-work benefit data came from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

For all years, information on employment, training and NEET (not in education, employment or training) comes from local authority data from the National Client Caseload Information System (NCCIS).

The matching of these databases was undertaken at individual level using personal characteristics such as name, date of birth and postcode.

These statistics cover pupils who went to state funded mainstream schools.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Suppression is applied to the destination data to ensure that individual students cannot be identified, as follows:

  • any total with fewer than 11 students has had all of their data suppressed
  • figures referring to outcomes for 1 or 2 individuals have been suppressed – in some cases, more figures have been suppressed if publishing them would affect the suppression of those figures referring to outcomes for 1 or 2 individuals

Any data with a sum of 0 is retained unless it reveals information about employment destinations.

These rules are also applied to percentages relating to small numbers, so that numerators of less than 3 are suppressed. Percentages are calculated using unrounded data.

To help preserve confidentiality, student numbers have been rounded to the nearest 5.

The Code of Practice for Official Statistics requires the Department for Education (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.

Rounding

All pupil numbers have been rounded to the nearest 5 in the data download. Percentages are calculated using unrounded data.

Quality and methodology information

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

Department for Education

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The data is collected to help provide clear and comparable information on the success of schools and colleges in helping their students continue in education or employment.

6. Download the data

Destinations of school pupils after key stage 4 - Spreadsheet (csv) 130 KB

This file contains: Measure, Ethnicity, Ethnicity type, Time, Time type, Geography, Geography type, Geography code, Gender, Gender type, Destination, Value, Value type, Denominator, Numerator