Data set from Key stage 4 destination measures

Key stage 4 national level destinations

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Last updated

National level destinations data for students leaving key stage 4 for different characteristic groups, provider types, and qualification levels.

Data set details

Destination of pupils and students
Key stage 4 destination measures
Release type
Geographic levels
  • Activity not captured
  • Advanced and Higher apprenticeships (level 3 and above)
  • Alternative provision
  • Data type
  • Institution group
  • Student characteristics
Time period
2010/11 to 2021/22

Data set preview

Table showing first 5 rows, from underlying data
202122Academic yearNationalE92000001EnglandState-funded (inc. non-maintained) special schoolsTotalTotalTotalNumber of pupilsRevised8151239511194109103351921807287131786856230914313302419783283313192232158
202122Academic yearNationalE92000001EnglandState-funded mainstream schoolsSelective schoolTotalTotalNumber of pupilsRevised1642573725469251741232226319104013511042322153107461421781283515907812
202122Academic yearNationalE92000001EnglandState-funded mainstream schoolsNon-selective school in highly selective areaTotalTotalNumber of pupilsRevised2123534033013301511274615407169030864565832926126652274415961951118052724437632551
202122Academic yearNationalE92000001EnglandState-funded mainstream schoolsTotal acadamies & freeTotalTotalNumber of pupilsRevised248043281140623137409715050117053849143391520203993011449955614860643684241727422398130586140320041823619563
202122Academic yearNationalE92000001EnglandState-funded mainstream schoolsSponsored academyTotalTotalNumber of pupilsRevised7471199821090749864951535330491320486127410611151306134279176325166146933652382667143115721364208

Variables in this data set

Table showing first 5 of 28 variables
Variable nameVariable description
all_notsustNot recorded as a sustained destination
all_unknownActivity not captured
all_workSustained employment destination
appl2Intermediate apprenticeships (level 2)
appl3Advanced and Higher apprenticeships (level 3 and above)


  1. Disadvantaged pupils include pupils known to be eligible for free school meals (FSM) in any spring, autumn, summer, alternative provision or pupil referral unit census from year 6 to year 11 or that are looked after children for at least one day or are adopted from care.
  2. Includes all non-selective schools in local authorities with a high level of selection (where 25% or more of state-funded secondary places are in state-funded selective schools). These local authorities are Bexley, Buckinghamshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Medway, Poole, Slough, Southend-on-Sea, Sutton, Torbay, Trafford and Wirral. See the Quality and methodology information document for more details.
  3. Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) was added as a new type of need in 2014/15; the previous type of need Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulties has been removed although it is not expected that SEMH will be a direct replacement.
  4. Includes state-funded mainstream schools, state-funded and non-maintained special schools, and alternative provision.
  5. At the end of key stage 4 pupils are expected to achieve 'good passes' at grade 5 or above in both English and maths GCSEs or selected equivalents. The figures for student achievement of grade 4 or above in both English and maths are shown alongside this measure for transparency and comparability. This measure is chosen because passes in English and maths will continue to be assessed in future years and because passes in these subjects tie closely to conditions for post-16 funding and accountability. Prior to the introduction of the reformed 9 to 1 GCSEs in English and maths in 2016/17, a 'good pass' was classed as an A*-C grade.
  6. Other education destinations include independent schools, specialist post-16 institutions, special schools and education combination destination.
  7. Includes all non-selective schools that are not in highly selective areas, including those in areas with some selection.
  8. Local authority maintained mainstream schools include community schools, voluntary aided schools, voluntary controlled schools and foundation schools.
  9. State place funded alternative provision includes pupil referral units, AP academies, AP free schools and hospital schools.
  10. Following special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms in 2014/15, SEN pupils are categorised as 'SEN with a statement or Education, health and care (EHC) plan' and 'SEN support'. SEN support replaces school action and school action plus (grouped as SEN without a statement up to and including 2013/14). It was expected that all transfers to this category take place during the 2014/15 academic year but some legacy categories remain in subsequent cohorts. More detailed information on the reforms can be found here:
  11. Selective schools admit pupils wholly or mainly with reference to ability. These schools are formally designated as grammar schools.
  12. State-funded schools include local authority maintained schools, academies, free schools, city technology colleges, further education colleges with provision for 14- to 16-year-olds, state-funded special schools and non-maintained special schools.
  13. Includes state place funded alternative provision (Pupil Referral Units, AP academies, AP free schools, and hospital schools) and other alternative provision (education funded by the local authority outside of state place funded schools, including independent schools, non-maintained special schools, and providers that do not meet the criteria for registration as a school).
  14. Includes pupils for whom ethnicity or first language was not obtained, refused or could not be determined.
  15. Includes 'not known but believed to be other than English'. Pupils are included if their main language is other than English regardless of fluency in English.
  16. Since September 2013, general further education colleges and sixth-form colleges have been able to directly enrol 14- to 16-year-olds. Excludes city technology colleges.
  17. Key stage 2 assessments are taken in year 6 at the end of primary school. To be at the expected level pupils must have reached level 4 or above in all three areas and to be considered above the expected standard pupils to have achieved level 5 or 6 in all three areas. Due to a boycott of standardised testing in 2010, a higher proportion of 2015 leavers has no prior attainment recorded.
  18. Includes state-funded special schools (community special schools, foundation special schools, special sponsored academies, special converter academies, and special free schools) and non-maintained special schools.
  19. This includes pupils who were captured in the source data and had some participation in the academic year but did not complete the required six months sustained participation.
  20. Includes pupils for whom free school meal eligibility, pupil premium eligibility, or special educational need (SEN) provision could not be determined.
  21. The student was not found to have any participation in education, apprenticeship or employment nor recorded as receiving out-of-work benefits at any point in the year. Possible reasons for this could be that the pupil was living, working or studying abroad or was attending a Scottish or Welsh college or school.
  22. Other alternative provision includes education funded by the local authority outside of state place funded schools, including independent schools, non-maintained special schools, and providers who do not meet the criteria for registration as a school.
  23. State-funded mainstream schools include community schools, voluntary aided schools, voluntary controlled schools, foundation schools, academies, free schools, city technology colleges and further education colleges with provision for 14- to 16-year-olds.
  24. The calculation for the prior attainment categories changed in 2020/21 as a consequence of the introduction of Key Stage 2 scaled scores in 2016. The introduction of KS2 scaled scores has had an impact on the distribution of pupils by prior attainment. In summary, the impact has been to reduce the number of pupils in the high prior attainment group and increase the number of pupils in the low and middle prior attainment groups. This means that caution is required when comparing the results over time.

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