Academic Year 2021/22

Further education and skills

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

  2. Updated with data covering the first two quarters of 2021/22. Achievement rate data also added covering 2020/21

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

This statistical release presents provisional data on adult (19+) further education (FE) and skills in England for the first two quarters of the 2021/22 academic year (August 2021 to January 2022).  This includes apprenticeships and traineeships in the overall FE and skills numbers, 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 2021/22 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 between academic years 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.


Headline facts and figures - 2021/22

The figures covering the second quarter of the 2021/22 academic year show:

Adult government-funded further education and skills participation including apprenticeships increased by 5.1% to 1,227,100 compared to 1,168,100 in the same period in 2020/21.

Of the 1,227,100 adult learners participating in 2021/22: 

  • Females account for 59.6% (731,400).
  • Higher level (level 4 or above) participation increased by 18.9%, to 205,400 from 172,700 in 2020/21.
  • Adult education and training participation decreased by 0.8% to 578,800 compared to 583,300 in 2020/21.
  • Community learning participation increased by 26.7% to 173,600 compared to 137,100 in 2020/21.

Explore data and files

All data used in this release is available as open data for download


Open data

Browse and download individual open data files from this release in our data catalogue


Guidance

Learn more about the data files used in this release using our online guidance


Create your own tables

You can view featured tables that we have built for you, or create your own tables from the open data using our table tool


All supporting files

All supporting files from this release are listed for individual download below:

List of all supporting files

About these statistics

This statistical release presents information on adult (19+) FE and skills participation in England, reported to date for the first two quarters of the 2021/22 academic year (covering August 2021 to January 2022).  This release also includes achievement rates covering the 2020/21 academic year, first published in March 2022.

The data includes Apprenticeships, Community Learning, and Education and Training provision taken at General Further Education Colleges (including Tertiary), Sixth Form Colleges, Special Colleges (Agricultural and Horticultural Colleges, and Art and Design Colleges), Specialist Colleges and External Institutions. 

A separate release covers apprenticeships and traineeships data, please see ‘Apprenticeships and traineeships release’, but note that apprenticeships and traineeships are included in the overall FE and skills numbers in this release.

Individualised Learner Record (ILR) administrative data

The ILR is an administrative data collection system designed primarily for operational use in order to fund training providers for learners in FE and on apprenticeship programmes. We publish a high volume of FE statistics using provisional, in year data and use latest data as soon as available despite not being ‘final’. This enables us to provide the earliest picture of FE performance and allows users to assess the impact of government-funded provision and hold the ‘system’ to account.

The FE and skills data in this release are based on the sixth ILR data return from FE and apprenticeship providers for the 2021/22 academic year. 

National achievement rate tables data

Figures in the ‘national achievement rate tables’ section are as published in March 2022. These official statistics cover achievement rates for the 2020 to 2021 academic year and would have been previously released as part of the standalone National achievement rate tables publication. As confirmed in our guidance, due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have not published institution-level qualification achievement rates (QARs) in the national achievement rate tables for the 2019 to 2020, or the 2020 to 2021 academic years. We have published high level summaries of QARs for statistical purposes. 

Achievement rates covering the 2021/22 academic year are planned to be published as part of our March 2022 statistics update.

Provider reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic

The latest data in this publication covers a period affected by varying COVID-19 restrictions which will have impacted on further education including apprenticeship learning. Therefore, extra care should be taken in comparing and interpreting data presented in this release. It is likely to have impacted on provider behaviour in terms of the reporting of FE and apprenticeship learning during the affected period, and this could vary by provider.

Comparison of achievements, particularly with 2019/20 and 2020/21, should be treated with caution because the disruption to exams and assessments and breaks in learning etc will have led to less achievements in 2019/20 than would normally have been expected to achieve. Likewise, the 2020/21 year might have more achievements than would have otherwise been the case, given delays in training or passing assessments etc.

How to use this release and find data

This section provides guidance on finding data and providing feedback. 

Find my data 

To find information on topics of interest, expand the content sections i.e. Subject, Geography, Provider. In each section, there will be: 

  • Tables/charts and summary commentary on the relevant area
  • Links to additional pre-prepared tables

You can also create your own tables through the table tool or modify the pre-prepared tables which use the same files. 

In the ‘Interactive data visualisation tool’ section, there is a link to a new experimental data tool which has been developed to complement the release.

There is a Methodology document which is linked under ‘Useful information’ at the top of this release, which contains further information on the statistics published here.

At the top of the release, there is a link ‘Explore data and files’ which includes:

  • Data that sits underneath the release
  • Supporting tables created outside the EES platform
  • Underlying CSV files that contain richer base data, and associated metadata files

Summary tables displayed in each of the sections contain provisional quarter one data for 2021/22 (August 2021 to January 2022) along with 2019/20 and 2020/21 figures as reported at the equivalent point in the relevant years. 

The pre-prepared tables (available at the bottom of each section) contain more information, and where possible show full year final data from 2016/17 to 2020/21 plus the provisional quarter two data for 2021/22. However, due to performance limitations, some files contain a shorter period of data than the standard six years.

If you are looking for historical data not available in this release, see the FE data library where there is more than six years’ worth of data.   

To find previous publications on FE and Skills see the Statistics: further education and skills collection.

The latest apprenticeship and traineeships statistics can be found here Apprenticeship and traineeship release.  

 

Related Releases

The latest apprenticeship and traineeships statistics can be found here Apprenticeship and traineeship release.  

To find previous publications on FE and Skills see the Statistics: further education and skills collection.

Other related releases include: 

 

Feedback

This release is a completely new approach to publishing our data and statistics which we are looking to evolve over time. As a result, your feedback is important to help us improve and develop. To provide feedback on this release please email us at FE.OFFICIALSTATISTICS@education.gov.uk.

Latest headline statistics

Adult (19+) further education and skills:

Adult government-funded further education and skills participation increased by 5.1% to 1,227,100 compared to 1,168,100 in the same period in 2020/21.

Of the 1,227,100 adult learners participating in the second quarter of 2021/22: 

  • The number on below Level 2 courses (excluding Basic skills) was 159,200.
  • The number on a Basic skills (excluding digital skills) course was 340,900.
  • The number on Level 2 courses was 360,800 (on Full Level 2, there were 119,100 learners) and on Level 3 there were 325,600 learners (on Full Level 3, there were 278,500 learners).
  • The number on Level 4 or above courses was 205,400.

So far in the latest period (2021/22), the number of adult (19+) learners in receipt of benefits when they started their learning was 170,900. Based on self-reporting through the ILR, these are defined as those learners reporting that they were in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance - Work Related Activity Group (ESA WRAG), Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit (if unemployed and looking for work).

Note: 

Further education and skills participation has changed over the years and has included different types of provision, including Apprenticeships, Community Learning, and Education and Training. Some of provision and data sources are now more historical in nature, such as Workplace Learning and that relating to the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers, as well as data relating to pilots such as the Employer Ownership Pilots. Please see the Further education and skills statistics: methodology for further information. 

Additionally, learners can participate at more than one level in different types of learning during an academic year and also on different types of provision, therefore it is not possible to sum individual levels to obtain the overall total. For more detail on how we count different measures please see the Further education and skills statistics: methodology.

Adult (19+) education and training participation:

Adult (19+) participation in education and training decreased by 0.8% to 578,800 in the latest figures, compared to 583,300 in the same period in 2020/21. 

Most learners participated in Level 2 courses (262,200), followed by Basic skills (213,600).

Adult education budget:

In 2021/22, adult education budget funded participation increased by 1.1% to 573,700 compared to 567,500 in the same period in 2020/21.

Annual time series

The latest figures in this section relate to the 2020/21 academic year and were first published in November 2021.

Adult (19+) further education and skills:

Between 2014/15 and 2020/21, participation decreased by 37.2% from 2,613,700 to 1,640,300, and achievements decreased by 47.5% from 1,983,200 to 1,040,800.

Of the 1,640,300 adult learners participating in 2020/21: 

  • The number on below Level 2 courses (excluding Basic skills) was 260,900.
  • The number on a Basic skills course was 413,000.
  • The number on Level 2 courses was 585,200 (on Full Level 2, there were 153,200 learners) and on Level 3 there were 393,800 learners (on Full Level 3, there were 331,700 learners). 
  • The number on Level 4 or above courses was 217,500.

In 2020/21, the number of learners who benefited from support for the unemployed (those nearest the workforce) were 277,800. Of these, those aged 19 and over were 272,700. Based on self-reporting through the ILR, these include those learners reporting that they were in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance - Work Related Activity Group (ESA WRAG), Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit (if unemployed and looking for work).

Note: 

Further education and skills participation has changed over the years and has included different types of provision, including Apprenticeships, Community Learning, and Education and Training. Some of provision and data sources are now more historical in nature such Workplace Learning and that relating to the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers, as well as data relating to pilots such as the Employer Ownership Pilots. Please see the Further education and skills statistics: methodology for further information.

Additionally, learners can participate at more than one level in different types of learning during an academic year and also on different types of provision, therefore it is not possible to sum individual levels to obtain the overall total. For more detail on how we count different measures please see the Further education and skills statistics: methodology.

 

Adult education budget:

Between 2016/17 and 2020/21, adult education budget participation decreased from 1,295,200 to 925,300, and achievements decreased from 1,090,300 to 781,500. 

Further education and skills learner characteristics

Of the 1,227,100 participating adult learners participating in the second quarter of the 2021/22 academic year: 

  • Females account for 59.6% (731,360).
  • Learners aged 19-24, 25-49, and 50 and over accounted for 29.8% (366,180), 55.6% (682,000) and 14.6% (178,700) respectively.
  • Those declaring a learner learning difficulty and/or disability (LLDD) account for 17.1% (202,880).

Create your own tables 

You can create your own tables in the table builder using the Further education and skills learners data. The following tables offer a range of useful breakdowns for 2016/17 to 2021/22 reported to date. 

File subject What is available in the file
Further education and skills learners - detailed seriesIndicators: Achievements and Participation by level 

Filters: Gender, Ethnicity group, Ethnicity, LLDD, Ethnicity, Age (under 19/19+), Age group (with unknowns) and Provision Type 
Further education and skills learners - deprivationIndicators: Participation by level 

Filters: Learner deprivation, Age (under 19/19+), Age group (with unknowns) and Provision Type 
Further education and skills learners - learning difficulties and or disabilityIndicators: Achievements and Participation by level 

Filters: LLDD, LLDD primary, Ethnicity, Age (under 19/19+), Age group (with unknowns) and Provision Type 

Education and training learner characteristics

Adult (19+) participation in education and training decreased by 0.8% to 578,850 in the latest figures, compared to 583,330 in the same period in 2020/21. 

Most learners participated in Level 2 courses (262,200), followed by Basic skills (213,620).

Of the 578,850 learners participating in adult education and training: 

  • Females account for 64.8% (375,110).
  • Learners aged 19-24, 25-49, and 50 and over accounted for 24.1% (139,580), 61.8% (357,690) and 14.1% (81,580) respectively.
  • Those declaring a learner learning difficulty and/or disability (LLDD) account for 21.4% (120,280).

Reported to date for 2021/22, the most deprived fifth (20%) of areas contained 35.6% (205,160) of participating learners.

For information on education and training by sector subject area, please see the ‘Subject' section.

Create your own tables 

You can create your own tables in the table builder using the Further education and skills learners data. Select ‘Education and Training’ using the ‘Provision Type’ filter to view education and training statistics. The following tables offer a range of useful breakdowns for 2016/17 to 2021/22 reported to date. 

File subject What is available in the file
Further education and skills learners - detailed seriesIndicators: Achievements and Participation by level 

Filters: Gender, Ethnicity group, Ethnicity, LLDD, Ethnicity, Age (under 19/19+), Age group (with unknowns) and Provision Type 
Further education and skills learners - deprivationIndicators: Participation by level 

Filters: Learner deprivation, Age (under 19/19+), Age group (with unknowns) and Provision Type 
Further education and skills learners - learning difficulties and or disabilityIndicators: Achievements and Participation by level 

Filters: LLDD, LLDD primary, Ethnicity, Age (under 19/19+), Age group (with unknowns) and Provision Type 

Community learning learner characteristics

Community learning participation increased by 26.7% to 173,600 so far in 2021/22, compared to the same period in 2020/21. 

  • Personal and community development learning participation was 148,000.
  • Neighbourhood learning in deprived communities participation was 11,600.
  • Family English, maths and language participation was 5,300.
  • Wider family learning participation was 11,700.

Community learning learner characteristics in Q2 2021/22 showed: 

  • Females accounted for 75.1% (130,300).
  • Learners aged 25 and over represented 93.3% of participation.
  • Those declaring a learner learning difficulty and/or disability (LLDD) account for 19.2% (31,500).

Create your own tables 

You can create your own tables in the table builder using the Community learning learners data. The following tables offer a range of useful breakdowns for 2015/16 to 2021/22 reported to date. 

File subject What is available in the file
Community learning learners - detailed series

Indicators: Participation and Achievements by type

Filters: Age group (with unknowns), Gender, Ethnicity, LLDD, Detailed Ethnicity and Ethnicity group 
 

Community learning learners - learners with learning difficulties and or disabilityIndicators: Participation by type 

Filters: Ethnicity, LLDD, Age group (with unknowns) and LLDD primary 
 

Subject

Adult further education and skills enrolments:

Out of 2,627,900 enrolments in adult further education and skills reported to date in 2021/22: 

  • Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects represent 20.2%. 
  • Preparation for life and work accounted for most enrolments with 28.8% (756,400) followed by health, public services and care with 19.5% (511,700) and business, administration and law with 14.5% (381,900).

Education and training aims enrolments:

Of the 1,004,030 education and training learning aim enrolments reported to date in 2021/22: 

• Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects represent 15.1% (151,790).

• Preparation for life and work was the sector subject area with the most enrolments (457,290), followed by health, public services and care (162,230). 

• Entry and Level 1 courses together make up 49.9% of enrolments – 500,610 enrolments in total.  The majority of these are in preparation for life (75.1%).

• Level 2 courses account for 34.8% overall (349,080) – over a quarter of which are in health, public services and care (100,800).

• At Level 4 or above, the largest proportion of enrolments are in health, public services and care (47.3%) followed by business, administration and law (20.3%).

Level 3 Free Courses for Jobs

As part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, certain adults can now access free level 3 courses as part of the Free Courses for Jobs offer.

From April 2021, people have been able to access one of the free level 3 qualifications if they are aged 19 or over and do not already have a level 3 qualification (equivalent to an advanced technical certificate or diploma, or A levels) or higher. Previously, learners aged 24 or over, would have had to pay the course fee for these qualifications, normally through an Advanced Learner Loan. From April 2022, any adult in England earning under the National Living Wage will also be able to access these qualifications for free, regardless of their prior qualification level.

Learners enrolled on courses as part of the Free Courses for Jobs offer

Provisional figures for the first two quarters of the 2021/22 academic year show that:

  • The cumulative number of enrolments on the offer, reported between April 2021 and January 2022, stands at 14,940 (with 4,780 having started in the 2020/21 academic year). This is 55% higher than equivalent enrolments for the same months in 2018/19, by adults who would have been eligible for the offer had it existed.
  • 10,160 adults started level 3 courses as part of the Free Courses for Jobs offer between August 2021 and January 2022 (980 aged 19-23 and 9,180 aged 24+). 
  • Compared to equivalent figures for enrolments by eligible learners in the first two quarters of the 2018/19 academic year (7,700), provisional starts on Free Courses for Jobs between August 2021 and January 2022 represent an increase of around a third (32%).

Note: 

  • Free Courses for Jobs figures are based on enrolments in level 3 offer courses by eligible learners that have been coded in the ILR with Learning Delivery Monitoring as  Adult Level 3 Offer funded via the National Skills Fund.
  •  Eligible learners are identified as a) those without prior attainment at level 3 or above; and b) those not enrolled on the course as part of an apprenticeship; and c) all those aged 24 and above or those aged 19-23 where there is not already a statutory entitlement to the course through the adult education budget. Eligible Learners is not limited only to those on the Adult Level 3 Offer – it includes learners who don’t receive the direct funding, yet enrolled and meet the underlying criteria.
  • The list of courses approved for funding as part of the offer included 448 qualifications as at January 2022 (up from 387 at 1 April 2021). The number of qualifications has changed slightly from month-to-month, as some were removed, and others added.  The latest reported figures for the August-January period (and comparisons to the same months in previous years) are based on the eligible courses that were part of the offer in that month.  Final full-year figures for 2020/21 and comparisons to previous years are based on the original 387 valid qualifications at the start of the offer. 
  • There will be a lag between qualifications being added to the list and some learners starting on Free Courses for Jobs. 
  • Enrolment figures based on the earlier qualifications list are available through ‘Explore data’ below the table.

Further breakdowns of the total number of adults taking up Free Courses for Jobs since April 2021 can be accessed through the link below in ‘Create your own tables’.

 

Create your own tables 

You can create your own tables in the table builder using the Subject data. The following tables are set up as a useful starting point.

File subject What is available in the file
Education and training sector subject area tier 2 - detailed series

Indicators: Education and Training Enrolments 

Coverage: 2016/17 to 2021/22

Filters: Sector Subject Area (tier 2), STEM, Age group (with unknowns) and Detailed level 

Further education and skills subject - free courses for jobs detailed series

Indicator: Enrolments since April 2021 by adults taking up Free Courses for Jobs 

Coverage: April 2021 to January 2022

Filters: Region, LAD, PCON, start age, gender, learning difficulty/disability, Ethnicity, sector subject area (tiers 1 and 2)

Note: due to small numbers, not all filters will cross-tabulate

Interactive data visualisation tool

A new experimental data tool has been developed within the Microsoft Power BI software application to complement the further education and skills release in EES. 

This new approach allows a more visual, interactive exploration of provider data with a number of different views and ‘drilldown’ capability to allow users to investigate education and training and community learning provision within different geographical areas and across providers.

Geographical breakdowns

Of the 1,227,100 adult learners participating in the first two quarters of the 2021/22 academic year: 

The region with the highest further education and skills participation was London with 221,100 learners.

  • London also had the highest participation at below Level 2 (excluding Basic skills) with 44,100 learners, Basic skills with 81,600 learners, and Level 2 with 52,400 learners. 
  • The region with the most participating learners at Level 3 was the North West (47,800).
  • At Level 4 or above, the South East had the greatest number of learners (31,800) followed by the North West (29,400).

Create your own tables 

You can create your own tables in the table builder using the Geography data. The following tables offer a range of useful breakdowns for 2021/22 reported to date. 

File subject What is available in the file

Further education and skills geography - detailed summary


 

Locations: Local Authority, Local Authority District, Parliamentary Constituency, National and Regional

Indicators: Participation, Achievements and Starts. (Starts for apprenticeships only)

Filters: Provision type (All Further education and skills, Education and training, Apprenticeship, Community learning), Level (apprenticeship or FE level), Age group, 
Education and training geography - local authority district (reported to date)Locations: Local Authority District, English Devolved Areas, National and Regional

Indicators: Aims Enrolments and Aims Achievements 

Filters: Gender, Level, Sector Subject Area (tier 1) name and Ethnicity group 
Education and training geography - English devolved areas (reported to date)                          Locations: English Devolved Areas, Local Authority District, National and Regional

Indicators:  Participation, Achievements 

Filters: Age group, Gender, Sector Subject Area (tier 1) name & code, Detailed level and Ethnicity group 
Community learning geography - local authority district (reported to date)Locations: Local Authority District, National and Regional

Indicators: Achievements and Participation by type

Filters: Age group (with unknowns), Gender and Ethnicity group 

Interactive data visualisation tool

A new experimental data tool has been developed within the Microsoft Power BI software application to complement the further education and skills release in EES. 

This new approach allows a more visual, interactive exploration of provider data with a number of different views and ‘drilldown’ capability to allow users to investigate education and training and community learning provision within different geographical areas and across providers. 

Providers

Adult further education and skills:

Of the 1,227,100 learners that participated in the second quarter of the 2021/22 academic year:

  • Further education colleges accounted for the majority, 39.9% (490,000).
  • Private sector public funded providers account for 34.1% (418,100) and other public funded (i.e. local authorities and higher education institutions) providers a further 21.0% (257,900).
  • Schools, sixth form colleges, and special colleges make up 5.0% of participation (61,100).

Create your own tables 

You can create your own tables in the table builder using the Community learning provider data. The following tables offer a range of useful breakdowns for 2015/16 to 2021/22 reported to date. 

File subject What is available in the file
Education and training providers - detailed participation and achievementsIndicators: Participation and achievements by level 

Filters: Provider name and UKPRN
Education and training providers - detailed enrolments Indicators: Aim enrolments 

Filters: Sector Subject Area, Level, Provider name and UKPRN
Community learning provider - detailed seriesIndicators: Participation and achievements by type

Filters: Provider name, UKPRN 

Interactive data visualisation tool

A new experimental data tool has been developed within the Microsoft Power BI software application to complement the further education and skills release in EES. 

This new approach allows a more visual, interactive exploration of provider data with a number of different views and ‘drilldown’ capability to allow users to investigate education and training and community learning provision within different geographical areas and across providers. 

Basic skills

Note: we have amended how we refer to this type of provision, which was previously referred to as ‘English and maths’, which included English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Since January 2021 we have also started to report on participation on new essential digital skills provision (Essential Digital Skills) in this section of the release. 

We will now be referring to ‘English and maths’ provision as ‘basic skills’ to better reflect this type of learning, and we will show basic skills participation with and without essential digital skills to preserve our previous time series.  

Adult basic skills including digital skills participation reported for the first two quarters in 2021/22 was 346,570. Of these:

  • Participation on an English course was 185,380.
  • Participation on a Maths course was 202,240.
  • Participation on an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course was 95,330.
  • Participation on an Essential Digital Skills course was 10,900.

Adult basic skills excluding digital skills participation increased by 4.5% to 340,860 in 2021/22 compared to 2020/21.

Create your own tables 

You can create your own tables in the table builder using the Basic skills data. The following tables offer a range of useful breakdowns for 2021/22 reported to date. 

File subject What is available in the file
Basic Skills - detailed series                                                                                                                                                                                             Time period: 2016/17 to 2021/22

Indicators: All Achievements, All Participation, Apprenticeship Achievements, Apprenticeship Participation, Education and Training Achievements, Education and Training Participation, Participation Percentage Change

Filters: Subject, Level, Reporting date and Age (under 19/19+) 
Basic skills - regional breakdown (reported to date)Time period: 2021/22

Locations: Regional, Local Authority District and Parliamentary constituency 

Indicators: Achievements and Participation 

Filters: Subject and level and Age (under 19/19+)

Advanced learner loans

The latest figures in this section relate to the 2020/21 academic year and were first published in November 2021.

Of the 86,200 learners participating with an advanced learner loan in 2020/21:

  • Most of the learners were at Level 3 (76,900).
  • Of those at Level 3, the highest participation was from the 31-40 age group (23,500) followed by the 24-30 age group (22,000).
  • Level 4 or above participation was 10,000.

Applications for advanced learner loans:

Of the 62,900 applications received for advanced learner loans in 2020/21:

  • The number of applications approved was 55,300.
  • The total value for loans approved was £166.9 million.
  • Level 3 diplomas received the most applications (28,600).
  • Majority of the loan demand continues to be from females with 75.6% (47,500) and by UK nationals with 83.8% (52,700).
  • By age group, the highest demand was from age groups 31-40 with 29.8% (18,800) and 24-30 with 27.2% (17,100).
  • The highest number of applications received were in the sector subject areas health, public services and care (19,500) and retail and commercial enterprise (10,500).

Create your own tables 

You can create your own tables in the table builder using the Advanced learner loans applications data. The following table offers a useful breakdown for 2014/15 to 2020/21. 

File subject What is available in the file
Advanced learner loans - applicationsIndicators: Approved applications, Received applications and Total loan amount awarded (£000s) 

Filters: Characteristics (Age, Gender and UK status), Provider Type, Qualification type and Sector subject area (tier 1)

An underlying file 'Advanced learner loans applications - top 10 qualifications' contains information about the 10 learning aims that received the most advanced learner loan applications each academic year since 2014/15. This can be found in the Explore data and files section of the release.

National achievement rate tables

 

In March 2020, the Secretary of State announced that the summer 2020 exam series in England would be cancelled to help fight the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). This announcement also stated that Government would not publish any school, college, or provider-level educational performance data based on tests, assessments or exams for the 2019/20 academic year.

In 2020/21, as a consequence of the ongoing disruption to the assessment process, the Government announced a change to its accountability arrangements published here where it states providers will not be held to account on the basis of exams and assessment data from summer 2020. Given the continued disruption, in February 2021, it was confirmed that no provider-level data would again be published for the 2020/21 academic year.  This release will therefore not contain any provider level data.

For performance management purposes users should refer to data from 2018/19 which can be found here.

Apprenticeship achievement rate statistics are available here.

Headline facts and figures

Overall achievement rates within the 19+ Education and Training cohort have decreased from 86.0% in 2019 to 2020 to 85.5% in 2020 to 2021, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points.  Compared with 2018 to 2019 they are down by 3.7 percentage points.

Level one and higher level rates have increased since last year by 0.6 and 5.1 percentage points respectively. Rates at level 2 have decreased by 2.0 percentage points whilst level 3 has decreased by 1.0 percentage point.

 

Things you need to know about this release

Care should be taken when comparing outcomes with previous years. 

The purpose of releasing national level achievement rate data for 2020/21 is to maintain the continuity of information and to provide context alongside the achievement volumes found elsewhere in this publication. It is important to maintain transparency by presenting the national level data for this cohort of learners whilst recognising the extraordinary circumstances surrounding 2019/20 and 2020/21 achievement rates.   

Care should be taken when comparing with previous years due to the effects of the pandemic such as disruption to exams and assessments. 

Additionally the methodology for creating achievement rates has been partially affected in two ways. Firstly, the announcement that Government will not publish any provider-level educational performance data for the 2019/20 or 2020/21 academic years.  Therefore we did not share any provider level data with providers for 2019/20 which normally helps them to improve the quality of their final data return. Secondly, this limited the fuller quality assurance processes including working closely with providers on anomalies in their data.  Whilst we were able to re-introduce the fuller quality assurance process for the 2020/21 data, we are aware that providers were still affected by disruption due to the COVID pandemic.

 

Different sectors have been affected in different ways and as a result, care should be taken when comparing data with previous years.

19+ Education and Training overall achievement rates by qualification type and level

Significant change in the way some assessments happened in 2019/20, and to a lesser extent in 2020/21, compared to previous years.  Additionally a significant change in some qualifications with the size of the cohort participating. As a result care should be taken when comparing 2019/20 and 2020/21 data with previous years.

 

19+ Education and Training overall achievement rates by sector subject area

Significant change in the way some assessments happened in 2019/20, and to a lesser extent in 2020/21, compared to previous years.  Additionally a significant change in some qualifications with the size of the cohort participating.  Different sectors have been affected in different ways and as a result care should be taken when comparing 2019/20 data with previous years.

 

Overall achievement rates by ethnicity

The figures in this section cover the achievement rates for those learners who are from minority ethnic groups.  Please note the figures for “White ethnic groups” includes white minorities.

 2018/192019/202020/21
Minority ethnic groups excluding white minorities88.2%84.7%84.8%
White88.9%87.1%86.4%

In 2020/21, learners aged 19+ from minority ethnic groups had an overall education and training achievement rate of 84.8%, an increase of 0.1 percentage points from 84.7% in 2019/20.

The number of learners from minority ethnic groups was 499,790 which represents 36.7% of all learners. The take up of education and training for learners from minority ethnic groups varies according to the sector subject area.  The sector with the highest proportion of learners from minority ethnic groups was Preparation for Life and Work where 50.9% of learners were from minority ethnic groups. The sector with the lowest proportion was Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care at 10.6%.            

 

Methodology

Qualification Achievement Rates (QARs), previously referred to as qualification success rates, are calculated for individual qualifications, or programmes for apprenticeships. They show how many learners that started a qualification or programme went on to successfully complete it. Achievement rates are typically calculated at a qualification or programme level, but can be aggregated across different types of course, or for particular colleges or providers.

Technical specifications for how achievement rates are calculated can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/qualification-achievement-rates-and-minimum-standards

Further information on how the performance management process works can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/funding-allocations-and-performance-management-for-providers

 

Changes for the 2020/21 reporting year

At the start of each academic year, the business rules by which QARs will be calculated for that year are published. The full set of user guide, business rules, and the technical specifications behind the 2020/21 calculations are also available here. We publish detailed tables to provide transparency on the measures we use for provider performance for the latest year only.  These data will not always be calculated on the same basis as previous years detailed tables, which remain available for transparency of the measures used in those particular years. Additionally, we provide some tables with time series to provide transparency on how performance has changed over time.  To provide comparable data we retrospectively apply the latest methodology to the previous two years. This will revise our estimates of what 2018/19 and 2019/20 would have been if calculated on this new basis. To illustrate the change this has made on our time series: 

 Revised Published Last YearChange
2018/1989.2%89.0%+0.2
2019/2086.0%85.7%+0.3

 

Data presented here in this release entirely covers adult 19+ provision only.  In common with previous years, we do provide links to detailed tables which also incorporate data for 16-18 year old learners for completeness.

 

Create your own tables 

You can create your own tables in the table builder using the Education and training achievement rates data. The following tables offer a range of useful breakdowns for 2019/20. 

File subject What is available in the file
Achievement rates - ethnicity Indicators: Achievement rate, Achievers, Completers, Leavers, Pass rate, Retention rate

Filters: Ethnicity, Gender, LLDD, Qualification type, Qualification level and Age group 
Achievement rates - genderIndicators: Achievement rate, Achievers, Completers, Leavers, Pass rate, Retention rate

Filters: Ethnicity, Gender, LLDD, Qualification type, Qualification level and Age group 
Achievement rates - learners with learning difficulties and or disabilityIndicators: Achievement rate, Achievers, Completers, Leavers, Pass rate, Retention rate

Filters: Ethnicity, Gender, LLDD, Qualification type, Qualification level and Age group 
Achievement rates - ethnicity groupIndicators: Achievement rate, Achievers, Completers, Leavers, Pass rate, Retention rate

Filters: Ethnicity, Gender, LLDD, Qualification type, Qualification level and Age group 

 

Interactive data visualisation tool

A new experimental data tool has been developed within the Microsoft Power BI software application to complement the further education and skills release in EES. 

This new approach allows a more visual, interactive exploration of provider data with a number of different views and ‘drilldown’ capability to allow users to investigate education and training and community learning provision within different geographical areas and across providers. 

Help and support

Methodology

Find out how and why we collect, process and publish these statistics

National statistics

The United Kingdom Statistics Authority designated these statistics as National Statistics in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

Designation signifying their compliance with the authority's Code of Practice for Statistics which broadly means these statistics are:

  • managed impartially and objectively in the public interest
  • meet identified user needs
  • produced according to sound methods
  • well explained and readily accessible

Once designated as National Statistics it's a statutory requirement for statistics to follow and comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics to be observed.

Find out more about the standards we follow to produce these statistics through our Standards for official statistics published by DfE guidance.

Contact us

Ask questions and provide feedback

If you have a specific enquiry about Further education and skills statistics and data:

FE Stats Dissemination

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Telephone: Matthew Rolfe
020 7783 8300

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