Destinations of students after key stage 5 (usually aged 18 years)
Last updated 14 May 2019 - see all updates
There is a new version of this page. View the latest version.
1. Main facts and figures
- overall, in 2016/17, 89% of students stayed in education, apprenticeships or employment for at least 2 terms after finishing key stage 5 (usually A levels or similar), with 61% going into education, 6% into apprenticeships, and 22% into employment
- Chinese and Indian students were the most likely out of all ethnic groups to stay in education, apprenticeships or employment (at 91%), while students from White Irish, Black African, Bangladeshi and other Asian backgrounds were all 1 percentage point higher than the national average
- White British students were the most likely to go into employment (25%), and also apprenticeships (8%) with the exception of Gypsy/Roma students at 9% - however, it is not possible to draw firm conclusions about this group due to the small number of pupils involved
- Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish Heritage students were least likely to stay in education, apprenticeships or employment at 17% and 23% – however, it is not possible to draw firm conclusions about these groups due to the small number of pupils involved
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 students have been separated into two categories
- Sri Lankan has been added to the Asian/Asian British group but is not reported separately
- Chinese students 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:
- Gypsy Roma
- Irish Traveller
- 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
- Sri Lankan
- Any Other Asian background
- Any Other Black/African/Caribbean background
Other ethnic group
Unclassified (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:
- Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
- Asian/Asian British
- Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
- Other ethnic group
2. By ethnicity
|Ethnicity||Education, apprenticeships or employment||Education||Apprenticeships||Employment||No sustained education/employment||Unknown|
|Mixed White/Black African||87||67||4||17||9||4|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||87||58||5||24||10||3|
|Irish traveller||65||42||withheld to protect confidentiality||15||23||12|
Summary of Destinations of students after key stage 5 (usually aged 18 years) By ethnicity Summary
3. By ethnicity over time
|Mixed White/Black African||86||87||86||88||85||89||87|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||86||86||86||87||87||89||87|
Summary of Destinations of students after key stage 5 (usually aged 18 years) By ethnicity over time Summary
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 used in compiling the NPD have been used to determine students’ 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 have been linked to the national pupil database to form the longitudinal education outcomes (LEO) dataset.
Employment data came from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Out-of-work benefit data came from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The matching of these databases was undertaken at individual level using personal characteristics such as name, date of birth and postcode.
These statistics cover students who went to state-funded schools and colleges.
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, as well as any other figures that, if published, could affect that suppression
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 any published statistics protect people’s confidentiality.
For more information about DfE’s disclosure control procedures for its statistical releases please see DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality.
All student numbers have been rounded to the nearest 5 in the data download. Percentages are calculated using unrounded data.
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