Destinations of students after key stage 5 (usually aged 18 years)

Published

Contents
  1. 1. Main facts and figures
  2. 2. By ethnicity
  3. 3. By ethnicity over time
  4. 4. Methodology
  5. 5. Data sources
  6. 6. Download the data

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
Things you need to know

This data only includes young people aged 16 to 18 years who had completed A-levels and/or other level 3 qualifications at key stage 5 in state-funded mainstream schools and colleges in England.

This does not cover young people who were not in education at 18 years of age, or those studying qualifications at a lower level.

This data includes the destinations of students in the year after finishing key stage 5 study, not longer term outcomes. It doesn’t measure the quality of education or employment, whether it’s full or part time or the amount of pay.

The figures come from enrolment data in schools and colleges in England and universities in the UK, tax and benefit data and some local authority records of young people's activity.

To be counted as having been in education, students must have sustained education participation recorded for the 6 months from October to March immediately after key stage 5. This could be at UK universities, further education colleges or in other educational settings in England. Students doing a combination of education and employment are counted as being in education.

To be counted as having been in an apprenticeship, students 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, students must have had sustained participation recorded in 5 out of 6 months from October to March, and must also have been in employment in April, if not in March.

Students who completed some education or employment from October to March immediately after stage 5, but for less than the required time, are counted as having no sustained education or employment destination.

Not all destinations could be captured – for example, if people went to work or study overseas or attended a school or college in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, their destination would be unknown. Destinations were recorded for 96% of students finishing key stage 5, although this figure differed substantially by ethnic group. For example, destinations were recorded for 97% of White British students, compared with 89% for those for whom ethnicity wasn’t known.

The data shown here for the years 2010/11 to 2015/16 has been updated to include tax and benefit data, and a new methodology for counting apprenticeships, so that the data is comparable between years. Ethnicity breakdowns following this consistent methodology were released on GOV.UK in January 2019 as additional data.

There were very few students in the Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish heritage ethnic groups who completed A levels or other level 3 qualifications in 2015/16. 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 key stage 5 in state-funded mainstream schools and colleges in England in 2015, based on what they did in the first 2 terms of the next academic year (October to March). The data shows destinations by ethnic group.

The total of all students who completed key stage 5 was used to calculate percentages of outcomes for each category.

Key stage 5 covers school years 12 and 13, or study at sixth-form and other further education colleges, when young people are aged 16 to 18 years. The students included in this measure are those who worked towards A levels or other level 3 qualifications in the academic year 2014/15.

There are 4 main categories that show whether students:

  • stayed in education, including at UK universities and colleges in England
  • started an apprenticeship
  • went into employment
  • didn’t stay in education or go into employment for at least two terms

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

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:

White:

  • British
  • Irish
  • 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

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

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:

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

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of students going into sustained education, apprenticeships or employment after key stage 5, by ethnicity
Ethnicity Education, apprenticeships or employment Education Apprenticeships Employment No sustained education/employment Unknown
% % % % % %
All 89 61 6 22 8 4
Asian 89 77 3 9 7 4
Bangladeshi 90 76 5 9 6 3
Indian 91 79 3 9 6 4
Pakistani 87 74 3 10 8 5
Asian other 90 77 2 10 6 5
Black 90 76 3 11 7 3
Black African 90 80 2 8 6 3
Black Caribbean 87 67 5 16 9 4
Black other 89 72 4 13 8 3
Chinese 91 84 2 5 4 5
Mixed 88 65 4 18 9 4
Mixed White/Asian 89 69 3 16 7 4
Mixed White/Black African 87 67 4 17 9 4
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 87 58 5 24 10 3
Mixed other 87 67 4 16 9 4
White 89 57 8 25 8 3
White British 89 56 8 25 8 3
White Irish 90 67 5 18 7 3
Gypsy/Roma 73 39 9 24 17 9
Irish traveller 65 42 withheld to protect confidentiality 15 23 12
White other 85 65 3 17 8 6
Other 87 74 2 11 7 5
Unknown 80 59 3 18 8 11

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • overall, nearly 9 out of 10 students (89%) went into education, apprenticeships or employment after finishing their A levels (or other level 3 qualifications) – 61% continued their education, 6% went into apprenticeships and 22% went into employment
  • students from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups were most likely to be in education, apprenticeships or employment out of all ethnic groups (91%)
  • the Chinese ethnic group also had the highest percentage of students staying in education (84%), followed by Black African (80%), and Indian students (79%)
  • a quarter (25%) of White British students went into employment, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups; 24% of students of Gypsy/Roma, and of Mixed White and Black Caribbean backgrounds went into employment
  • White British students were more likely to go into apprenticeships (8%) than all other ethnic groups, with the exception of Gypsy/Roma students (9%) – all other groups saw lower proportions going into apprenticeships than the national average (6%)
  • the Gypsy/Roma ethnic group had the lowest percentage of students staying in education (39%), followed by the Traveller of Irish Heritage (42%), White British (56%) and Mixed White and Black Caribbean groups (58%)
  • Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish heritage students were least likely to stay in education or employment after finishing key stage 5 at 17% and 23% – however, it is not possible to draw firm conclusions about these groups due to the small number of students involved

3. By ethnicity over time

Percentage of students going into sustained education, apprenticeships or employment after key stage 5, by ethnicity over time
Ethnicity 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
% % % % % % %
All 87 88 88 89 88 90 89
Asian 87 87 87 88 88 89 89
Bangladeshi 85 86 87 89 89 91 90
Indian 90 90 89 91 90 91 91
Pakistani 85 85 85 85 85 87 87
Asian other 86 88 88 90 89 89 90
Black 86 86 87 89 89 90 90
Black African 87 88 88 90 90 92 90
Black Caribbean 85 83 84 87 87 88 87
Black other 87 86 88 88 87 89 89
Chinese 89 91 90 92 91 92 91
Mixed 86 87 86 88 87 89 88
Mixed White/Asian 87 90 88 89 88 89 89
Mixed White/Black African 86 87 86 88 85 89 87
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 86 86 86 87 87 89 87
Mixed other 85 87 86 87 86 88 87
White 87 89 88 90 89 90 89
White British 88 89 88 90 89 90 89
White Irish 87 90 87 88 88 89 90
Gypsy/Roma 90 82 62 76 73 78 73
Irish traveller 95 87 89 65 95 65 65
White other 84 86 85 86 85 87 85
Other 84 85 85 87 87 88 87
Unknown 73 74 80 81 80 81 80

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • overall, between 2010/11 and 2016/17, the percentage of students going into education, apprenticeships or employment went up from 87% to 89%; this increase was reflected in all ethnic groups except for Gypsy/Roma and Traveller of Irish heritage students, where outcomes varied widely due to both groups being so small
  • the percentage of students going into apprenticeships increased from 4% to 6% between 2010/11 and 2016/17 while the percentage going into employment remained stable (between 23% and 22% percent)
  • between 2010/11 and 2016/17, students from the Bangladeshi group and from other Asian backgrounds went from having below average outcomes to having above average outcomes in terms of going 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.

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.

Rounding

All student 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 students after key stage 5 - Spreadsheet (csv) 59 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