Destinations of school pupils after GCSEs (and equivalent qualifications)
Last updated 4 March 2021 - see all updates
1. Main facts and figures
- 94% of pupils went into education, apprenticeships or employment for at least 2 terms after finishing their GCSEs (or equivalent) in July 2017
- 5% of pupils had no sustained education, apprenticeship or employment, and the destination was unknown for 1%
- in nearly every ethnic group, over 90% of pupils went into education, apprenticeships or employment – this is except for the White Gypsy and Roma (67%) and Traveller of Irish heritage (72%) ethnic groups, but the small number of pupils makes this data less reliable
- the percentage of Mixed White and Black Caribbean, and White British pupils who stayed in education after July 2017 was lower than the national average
- the percentage of pupils going into education, apprenticeships or employment has increased from 89% in the school year ending July 2011
- in every ethnic group except White Gypsy and Roma, a higher percentage of pupils went into education, apprenticeships or employment compared with the school year ending July 2011
- 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
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data shows the destinations of students who finished their GCSEs and other 14 to 16 study in state-funded mainstream schools in England. The data includes students who took level 2 qualifications between 14 and 16 years old.
The destinations are based on what students did in the following academic year. The data shows if pupils:
- stayed in education
- started an apprenticeship
- went into employment or training
- did not stay in education or go into employment for at least 2 terms
The category ‘unknown’ is for information which was not recorded. Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.
The ethnic groups used in the data
The data uses the ethnic groups from the 2001 Census, with 2 exceptions:
- there are separate categories for White Irish Traveller and White Gypsy and Roma children
- pupils in the Chinese ethnic group are in a separate category from Asian pupils
The ethnicity was not known for about 1% of students in the most recent year.
Read the detailed methodology document (PDF opens in a new window or tab) for the data used on this page.
Not all destinations could be recorded – for example, a pupil’s destination would not be known if they went into work or study overseas, or attended a school or college in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Destinations were recorded for 97% to 99% of all ethnic groups. They were recorded for 94% of Traveller of Irish Heritage pupils, and 90% of White Gypsy and Roma pupils.
3. By ethnicity
|Ethnicity||Education, apprenticeships or employment||Education||Apprenticeships||Employment||No sustained education/employment||Unknown|
|Mixed White/Black African||93||89||2||2||6||1|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||91||84||3||3||8||1|
Summary of Destinations of school pupils after GCSEs (and equivalent qualifications) By ethnicity Summary
4. By ethnicity over time
|Mixed White/Black African||87||89||91||93||94||94||94||93|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||86||86||87||89||91||91||91||91|
Summary of Destinations of school pupils after GCSEs (and equivalent qualifications) By ethnicity over time Summary
5. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Education
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
This file contains: Measure, Ethnicity, Ethnicity type, Time, Time type, Geography, Geography type, Geography code, Gender, Gender type, Destination, Value, Value type, Denominator, Numerator