Academic Year 2020/21

Further education and skills

Published
Last updated
See all updates (11)
  1. Updated to add links to the interactive data visualisation tool

  2. Updated with full, final data covering the 2020/21 academic year (August 2020 to July 2021).

  3. Added provider tables containing Education and training, and Community learning breakdowns

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

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

  6. 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

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

  8. Updated to fix technical issue

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

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

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

This statistical release presents full year final data on adult (19+) further education (FE) and skills in England for the 2020/21 academic year (August 2020 to July 2021). 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 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 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 - 2020/21

The figures covering the 2020/21 academic year show:

  • Adult government-funded further education and skills participation decreased by 6.0% to 1,640,300 compared to 1,745,800 in 2019/20.

Of the 1,640,300 learners:

  • Females account for 60.8% (997,300).
  • Higher level (level 4 or above) participation increased by 24.9%, to 217,500 from 174,100 in 2019/20.
  • Adult education and training participation decreased by 0.6% to 869,600 compared to 875,100 in 2019/20.
  • Community learning participation decreased by 32.0% to 243,700 compared to 358,500 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.

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 the full year final information on adult (19+) FE and skills participation in England reported for the 2020/21 academic year

This update 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 final ILR data return from FE and apprenticeship providers for the 2020/21 academic year. 

National achievement rate tables data

Figures in the ‘national achievement rate tables’ section are as published in March 2021. These official statistics cover achievement rates for apprenticeships in the 2019 to 2020 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 academic year. We have published high level summaries of QARs for statistical purposes. 

Achievement rates covering the 2020/21 academic year will 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 for 2019/20 with 2018/19 and with 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 the latest full year data, along with comparative data for each of the previous two years

The pre-prepared tables (available at the bottom of each section) contain more information, and where possible show final full year data from 2015/16 to 2020/21. Due to performance limitations, some of these files contain fewer historical 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 decreased by 6.0% to 1,640,300  compared to 1,745,800 in the same period in 2019/20.

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 (including digital 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 document available at the top of the release, under ‘Useful 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 document available at the top of the release, under ‘Useful information.

Adult education budget:

In 2020/21, adult education budget funded participation decreased by 11.2% to 925,300 compared to 1,042,000 in the same period in 2019/20.

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 from 2,613,700 to 1,640,300, and achievements decreased 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 an 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 document available at the top of the release, under ‘Useful 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 document available at the top of the release, under ‘Useful information.

 

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

  • Females account for 60.8% (997,300).
  • Learners aged 19-24, 25-49, and 50 and over accounted for 28.0% (459,600), 57.2% (938,800) and 14.7% (241,600) respectively.
  • Learners declaring themselves as black, Asian, or other minority ethnic groups (BAME) represented 24.2% (385,800).
  • Those declaring a learner learning difficulty and/or disability (LLDD) account for 16.3% (259,200).

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 2015/16 to 2020/21 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, BAME, 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, BAME, 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 0.6% to 869,600 in 2020/21, compared to 875,100 in 2019/20. 

Most learners participated in Level 2 courses (457,400), followed by Basic skills (247,800).

Of the 869,600 learners participating in adult education and training: 

  • Females account for 64.7% (562,800).
  • Learners aged 19-24, 25-49, and 50 and over accounted for 23.6% (205,000), 61.9% (538,400) and 14.5% (126,100) respectively.
  • Learners declaring themselves as black, Asian, or other minority ethnic groups (BAME) represented 31.2% (264,000).
  • Those declaring a learner learning difficulty and/or disability (LLDD) account for 19.3% (163,000).

In 2020/21 the most deprived fifth (20%) of areas contained 33.5% (290,300) 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 2015/16 to 2020/21 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, BAME, 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, BAME, Age (under 19/19+), Age group (with unknowns) and Provision Type 

Community learning learner characteristics

Community learning participation decreased by 32.0% to 243,700 in 2020/21, compared to 2019/20. 

  • Personal and community development learning participation was 202,200.
  • Neighbourhood learning in deprived communities participation was 20,800.
  • Family English, maths and language participation was 8,400.
  • Wider family learning participation was 19,200.

Community learning learner characteristics in  2020/21 showed: 

  • Females accounted for 75.2% (183,300).
  • Learners aged 25 and over represented 92.2% of participation.
  • Learners declaring themselves as black, Asian, or other minority ethnic groups (BAME) represented 27.0% (62,200).
  • Those declaring a learner learning difficulty and/or disability (LLDD) account for 18.5% (42,700).

 

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 2020/21 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, BAME, LLDD, Detailed Ethnicity and Ethnicity group 
 

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

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

Subject

Adult further education and skills enrolments:

Out of 3,748,700 enrolments in adult further education and skills reported in 2020/21: 

  • Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects represent 17.7%. 
  • Preparation for life and work accounted for most enrolments with 30.5% (1,145,000), followed by health, public services and care with 19.5% (731,500) and business, administration and law with 14.4% (540,700)

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, which is paid for by the National Skills Fund.

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. 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.

Enrolments across all qualifications in the Free Courses for Jobs level 3 offer by learners meeting the criteria to be eligible for funding

In the four month period that the level 3 offer has been operating, there were 6,560 enrolments across all courses listed in the offer by learners identified as eligible for funding. Eligible learners are identified as:

  1. those without prior attainment at level 3 or above; and
  2. those not enrolled on the course as part of an apprenticeship; and
  3. 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.

We estimate that 4,780 of these enrolments were by learners funded through Free Courses for Jobs via the National Skills Fund, split by 310 who were aged 19-23 and 4,470 aged 24 and over at the start of the course.

Note: estimates are based on enrolments in level 3 offer courses by eligible learners that have been coded in the ILR with Learning Delivery Monitoring (LDM) code = 378 

Comparing April to July 2021 enrolments by eligible learners to the equivalent four-month period in previous years, for learners meeting the same eligibility criteria, shows:

  • enrolments in 2021 were over five times higher than in April to July 2020 (1,170 enrolments)
  • enrolments in 2021 were over three times higher than in April to July 2019 (1,960 enrolments) 

We will seek to provide more detailed information on the level 3 Free Courses for Jobs offer in our 2021/22 releases, looking at those enrolments funded under the offer in addition to the overall enrolment figures presented here.

 

Enrolments across all qualifications in the Free Courses for Jobs level 3 offer

Further breakdown of the total number of enrolments and enrolments by eligible learners across all Free Courses for Jobs qualifications are available for academic years 2018/19 to 2020/21. These can be accessed through the link below in ‘Create your own tables’.

Education and training aims enrolments:

Of the 1,612,200 education and training learning aim enrolments reported in 2020/21: 

  • Science, technology, engineering and manufacturing (STEM) subjects represent 13.8% (222,700).
  • Preparation for life and work was the sector subject area with the most enrolments (692,000), followed by health, public services and care (301,000). 
  • Entry and Level 1 courses together make up 49.2% of enrolments – 793,400 enrolments in total. A majority of these are in preparation for life (71.0%).
  • Level 2 courses account for 38.5% overall (620,000). Over a third are in health, public services and care (212,800).
  • At Level 4 or above, the largest proportion of enrolments are in Health, Public Services and Care  (41.9%) followed by Business, Administration and Law (26.9%).

 

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: 2015/16 to 2020/21

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

Indicators: Total level 3 enrolments, eligible level 3 enrolments 

Coverage: 2018/19 to 2020/21

Filters: Sector Subject Area (tier 1), Start Month, Region

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

  • The region with the highest further education and skills participation was London with 289,800 learners.
  • London also had the highest participation at below Level 2 (excluding Basic skills) with 65,600 learners, Basic skills with 94,100 learners, and Level 2 with 82,800 learners. 
  • The region with the most participating learners at Level 3 was the North West (57,800).
  • At Level 4 or above, the South East had the greatest number of learners (33,100) followed by the North West (31,600).

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 2020/21 reported to date. 

File subject What is available in the file
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: Aims Achievements and Aims Enrolments 

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 1,640,300 learners that participated in 2020/21: 

  • Further education colleges accounted for the majority, 40.6% (666,700).
  • Private sector public funded providers account for 34.3% (562,800) and other public funded (i.e. local authorities and higher education institutions) providers a further 20.1% (329,900).
  • Schools, sixth form colleges, and special colleges make up 4.9% of participation (81,000).

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 2020/21 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 2020/21 was 415,700. Of these:

  • Participation on an English course was 243,600.
  • Participation on a Maths course was 260,000.
  • Participation on an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course was 97,300.
  • Participation on an Essential Digital Skills course was 5,100.

Adult basic skills excluding digital skills participation decreased by 13.8% to 413,000 in 2020/21 compared to 2019/20.

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 2020/21 reported to date. 

File subject What is available in the file
Basic Skills - detailed series                                                                                                                                                                                             Time period: 2015/16 to 2020/21

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: 2020/21

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

Achievement rates for 2020/21

Achievement rates covering the 2020/21 academic year will be published as part of our March 2022 statistics update.

Achievement rates for 2019/20 (as published in March 2021)

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 or college level educational performance data based on tests, assessments or exams for the 2019/20 academic year.

As a consequence of the disruption to the assessment process the government announced a change to its school and college accountability arrangements published here where it states schools and colleges will not be held to account on the basis of exams and assessment data from summer 2020.   This release will therefore not contain any institution 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 - 2019/20

Overall achievement rates within the 19+ Education and Training cohort have decreased from 89.0 per cent in 2018/19 to 85.7 per cent in 2019/20, a decrease of 3.3 percentage points.  Compared with 2017/18 they are down by 2.5 percentage points.  

 

Things you need to know about this release

Care should be taken when comparing outcomes with previous years.  

The purpose of releasing achievement rate data for 2019/20 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 achievement rates.    

Care should be taken when comparing with previous years due to the effects of the pandemic.  A number of things will have impacted these data.  For example there has been considerable disruption to exams and assessments and a significant increase in breaks and withdrawals.  

Additionally the methodology for creating QARs has been partially affected in two ways.  Firstly in the interests of removing burden on providers we did not share interim data which normally helps them to improve the quality of their final data return.  Secondly we were not able to work as closely with providers on small anomalies in their data as part of our fuller quality assurance process.

Different sectors have been affected in different ways and as a result care should be taken when comparing 2019/20 data with previous years. 

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

Due to the pandemic, there were significant change in the way some assessments happened in 2019/20 compared to previous years.  Additionally there was a significant change in some qualifications with the size of the cohort participating.  As a result care should be taken when comparing 2019/20 data with previous years.

 

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

Due to the pandemic there were significant change in the way some assessments happened in 2019/20 compared to previous years.  Additionally there was 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 aged 19+ who are from a Black, Asian, or minority ethnic (BAME) background.

 2017/182018/192019/20
Classified as BAME87.2%88.1%84.5%
Classified as other than BAME88.8%89.6%86.8%

In 2019 to 2020, learners aged 19+ who were classified as BAME had an overall education and training achievement rate of 84.5%, a decrease of 3.6 percentage points from 88.1% in 2018 to 2019.

The take up of education and training for BAME learners varies according to the sector subject area.  The sector with the highest proportion of BAME leaners was Preparation for Life and Work where 50.5% of learners were BAME compared to the overall percentage of 37.4%.  The sector with the lowest proportion of BAME learners was Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care at 11.2%. 

 

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.

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

 

Changes for the 2018 to 2019 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 2018 to 2019 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 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 would have been if calculated on this new basis. To illustrate the change this has made on our time series : 

 Revised Published Last YearChange
2017/1888.2%88.3%-0.2
2018/1989.0%89.1%-0.1

 

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 - BAMEIndicators: Achievement rate, Achievers, Completers, Leavers, Pass rate, Retention rate

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

Filters: Gender, 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: 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

Email
FE.OFFICIALSTATISTICS@education.gov.uk

Telephone: Matthew Rolfe
020 7783 8300

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