Academic Year 2020/21

Further education and skills

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  1. Updated with data covering the first three quarters of 2020/21

  2. Some files linked out to from the commentary in this release have been updated to incorporate quarter two 2020/21 data

  3. Updated to fix presentational error in the ‘Community learning participation percentage change by type’ table. Percentage change figures have been amended to match the correct community learning type

  4. Updated to include additional achievement rate data for Under 19s

  5. Updated to fix technical issue

  6. Updated to add links to the interactive data visualisation tool

  7. Updated with data covering the first two quarters of 2020/21

  8. Updated to add supplementary data and links to the interactive data visualisation tool

This statistical release presents provisional in-year data on adult (19+) further education (FE) and skills in England for the first three quarters of the 2020/21 academic year (August 2020 to April 2021). Apprenticeships and traineeships are included in the overall FE and skills figures, but for statistics relevant to apprenticeships and traineeships please see the ‘Apprenticeships and traineeships release’,

Impact of COVID-19 on reporting of FE and apprenticeship data

The 2020/21 data covers the period affected by COVID-19 and the associated restrictions, which will have impacted on FE provision and also provider reporting behaviour via the Individualised Learner Record. Therefore, extra care should be taken in comparing and interpreting data presented in this release. 

Please note that the ‘Explore data and files’ section contains the underlying files that underpin this release and allows expert users to interrogate and analyse the data for themselves. For pre-populated summary statistics please see the relevant section underneath, from which the data can be further explored using the ‘Explore data’ functionality. You can also view featured tables or create your own table using the ‘create  tables' functionality

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Headline facts and figures - 2020/21

The latest provisional figures covering the 2020/21 academic year  show:

  • Adult government-funded further education and skills participation decreased by 11.0% to 1,445,100 compared to 1,624,200 in the same period in 2019/20. 

Of the 1,445,100 learners:

  • Females account for 60.5% (571,200).
  • Higher level (level 4 or above) participation increased by 24.7%, to 201,600 from 161,600 in 2019/20.
  • Adult education and training participation decreased by 6.0% to 751,900 compared to 799,900 in 2019/20.
  • Community learning participation decreased by 40.5% to 197,500 compared to 331,900 in 2019/20.

Note: In our November 2020 full year release we stated that we were treating 2019/20 achievements as provisional at that stage. Following further analysis, we are now treating the 2019/20 data as final - please see ‘About these statistics’ for more information.

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