Destinations of students after 16 to 18 study

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • 81% of students went into education, apprenticeships or employment for at least 2 terms after reaching the end of 16 to 18 study (including A levels) in July 2017
  • 47% continued their education, 25% went into employment and 10% went into apprenticeships
  • students from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups were the most likely out of all ethnic groups to go into education, apprenticeships or employment
  • the percentages of Asian, Black and White students going into education, apprenticeships or employment were all above the national average
  • White British students were the most likely to go into employment (29%) and apprenticeships (11%) out of all ethnic groups
  • the ethnic groups most likely to have no sustained education, apprenticeships or employment were White Gypsy Roma (34%) and Traveller of Irish Heritage (33%) – however, these results are less reliable due to small numbers of pupils
Things you need to know

This data includes all young people who had reached the end of 16 to 18 study in state-funded mainstream schools and colleges in England in July 2017.

Students can have studied at different qualification levels, including below A level. In previous years, destinations after 16-18 study were only reported for students of approved level 3 qualifications (such as A levels, applied general qualifications and tech levels). For this year the cohort has been extended to include all qualifications at level 3, level 2, level 1, entry level and other students. You can find out more about these qualification levels.

The data does not include young people who were not in mainstream state-funded education at 18 years old.

This data only includes the immediate destinations of pupils in the year after finishing their A levels or other 16 to 18 study. It doesn’t assess the quality of the education or employment, 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

Not all destinations could be captured – for example, a pupil’s destination would not be known if they went into work or study abroad or attended a school or college in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Destinations were captured for 94% of students overall, although this figure varied by ethnic group. For example, destinations were recorded for 95% of White British students, compared with 68% for those whose ethnicity wasn’t known.

The analysis ‘over time’ only includes students who completed A levels or other level 3 qualifications. This is because data for the wider group of students for all qualification levels is not available before the 2017 to 2018 school year.

There are few students in the Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish Heritage ethnic groups who complete A levels and other 16 to 18 study each year. The small numbers of students in this group mean it’s not possible to draw firm conclusions about them.

What the data measures

This data shows the destinations of students who completed A levels and other 16 to 18 study in state-funded mainstream schools and colleges in England in July 2017. The destinations are based on what students did in the following academic year.

There is a delay in the reporting of pupils’ destinations because of the time it takes to match and process the data.

The total of all students who completed 16 to 18 study was used to calculate percentages of outcomes for each category.

16 to 18 study covers school years 12 and 13, or study at sixth-form and other further education colleges, when young people are 16 to 18 years old. The students included in this data worked towards A levels or other level 3 qualifications as well as qualifications below level 3, such as vocational qualifications.

There are 4 main destination categories. They show whether students:

  • stayed in education – they must have been studying for the 6 months from October 2017 to March 2018, at UK universities, further education colleges or in other educational settings in England (students in both education and employment are counted as being in education)

  • started an apprenticeship – they must have started an apprenticeship at any point in the year and continued it for at least 6 months

  • went into employment – they must have been employed in 5 out of 6 months from October to March, and been in employment or training in April, if they weren’t in March

  • had no sustained education or employment – this includes pupils who completed some education or employment from October to March, but for less than the required time

There is an extra category to show where this information wasn’t recorded.

For the analysis ‘By ethnicity over time’, the data only includes students who have completed A levels and/or other qualifications at level 3 as time series data is only available for this group of students. It only includes students who took qualifications included in the Department for Education 16-18 attainment performance tables (level 3 approved). The downloadable file contains additional information for the smaller group that only took qualifications not included in performance tables.

The ethnic categories used in this data

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of students going into sustained education, apprenticeships or employment after 16 to 18 study, by ethnicity
Ethnicity Education, apprenticeships or employment Education Apprenticeships Employment No sustained education/employment Unknown
% % % % % %
All 81 47 10 25 13 6
Asian 84 69 4 11 10 6
Bangladeshi 84 68 4 12 10 5
Indian 88 73 5 10 7 5
Pakistani 81 65 4 12 12 7
Asian other 85 71 3 12 9 6
Black 83 65 4 13 11 6
Black African 85 71 3 11 9 6
Black Caribbean 78 52 6 19 16 7
Black other 82 62 4 16 12 6
Chinese 87 79 2 6 5 8
Mixed 80 51 6 22 14 6
Mixed White/Asian 83 57 6 20 12 5
Mixed White/Black African 81 55 6 20 13 5
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 77 42 8 27 17 6
Mixed other 81 56 5 20 13 6
White 82 43 11 28 13 5
White British 82 42 11 29 13 5
White Irish 82 51 7 24 13 5
Gypsy/Roma 42 13 4 24 34 24
Irish Traveller 46 22 6 18 33 21
White other 78 52 4 21 12 10
Other 80 65 3 12 12 8
Unknown 55 39 2 14 13 32

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

Summary of Destinations of students after 16 to 18 study By ethnicity Summary

Figures for the White Gypsy and Roma and Traveller of Irish Heritage ethnic groups are based on a small number of pupils and are less reliable as a result.

The data shows that:

  • 81% of students who reached the end of 16 to 18 study (including A levels) in July 2017 went into education, apprenticeships or employment immediately after
  • 47% continued their education, 25% went into employment and 10% went into apprenticeships
  • students from the Chinese (87%) and Indian (88%) ethnic groups were the most likely out of all ethnic groups to stay in education, apprenticeships or employment
  • the Chinese ethnic group also had the highest percentage of students staying in education (79%), followed by Indian (73%), Asian Other and Black African (both 71%)
  • 29% of White British students went into employment, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups, followed by Mixed White and Black Caribbean students (27%)
  • White British students were the most likely to go into apprenticeships (11%)
  • the White Gypsy and Roma ethnic group had the lowest percentage of students staying in education (13%), followed by the Traveller of Irish Heritage (22%)
  • the ethnic groups most likely to have no sustained education or employment were White Gypsy and Roma (34%) and Traveller of Irish Heritage (33%)

3. By ethnicity over time

Percentage of students going into sustained education, apprenticeships or employment after 16 to 18 study (A level or similar), by ethnicity over time
Ethnicity 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
% % % % % % % %
All 87 88 88 89 88 90 89 88
Asian 87 87 87 88 88 89 89 89
Bangladeshi 85 86 87 89 89 91 90 90
Indian 90 90 89 91 90 91 91 90
Pakistani 85 85 85 85 85 87 87 87
Asian other 86 88 88 90 89 89 90 89
Black 86 86 87 89 89 90 90 89
Black African 87 88 88 90 90 92 91 90
Black Caribbean 85 83 84 87 87 88 88 86
Black other 87 86 88 88 87 89 89 89
Chinese 89 91 90 92 91 92 91 89
Mixed 86 87 86 88 87 89 88 87
Mixed White/Asian 87 90 88 89 88 89 89 88
Mixed White/Black African 86 87 86 88 85 89 88 87
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 86 86 86 87 87 89 87 86
Mixed other 85 87 86 87 86 88 87 86
White 87 89 88 90 89 90 89 88
White British 88 89 88 90 89 90 89 89
White Irish 87 90 87 88 88 89 90 88
Gypsy/Roma 90 82 62 76 73 78 75 77
Irish Traveller 95 87 89 65 95 65 65 72
White other 84 86 85 86 85 87 85 83
Other 84 85 85 87 87 88 88 87
Unknown 73 74 80 81 80 81 75 56

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

Summary of Destinations of students after 16 to 18 study By ethnicity over time Summary

This data only includes students who have completed A levels or other level 3 qualifications.

The data shows that, in the 8 academic years to July 2018:

  • the percentage of students going into education, apprenticeships or employment after their A levels (or other level 3 qualifications) went up from 87% to 88%
  • the percentage going into apprenticeships increased from 4% to 7%
  • the percentage going into employment stayed at 23%
  • students from the Bangladeshi, Black African, Black Other and Asian Other ethnic groups went from having below average outcomes to having above average outcomes
  • the percentage of pupils from the Bangladeshi ethnic group going into education, apprenticeships or employment went up from 85% to 90%, the biggest increase out of all ethnic groups
  • pupils from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups were consistently among the most likely to go into education, apprenticeships or employment

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.

The following data sources have been used to determine pupils’ education destinations:

  • individualised learner records covering English further education providers and specialist post-16 institutions
  • the 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 the 2014 to 2015 school year, 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.

HM Revenue and Customs supplies employment data, and the Department for Work and Pensions supplies out-of-work benefit data.

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 done 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

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.

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 students after 16 to 18 study (usually aged 18 years) - Spreadsheet (csv) 584 KB

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