Academic Year 2019/20

Longer term destinations

This is the latest dataOfficial statistics
Published

Introduction

Destination measures provide information on the success of schools and colleges in helping young people continue in education, apprenticeships or employment. 

These official statistics show the number of students that have continued in education, an apprenticeship or employment for at least 6 months, one, three and five years after finishing key stage 4. 

The release provides information that has been aggregated at national, regional, local authority and institution levels, and with breakdowns for student characteristics. 


Headline facts and figures - 2019/20

This publication is about the longer term destinations for students who left key stage 4 study in 2014/15.

The proportion of students who sustained an overall destination one year after finishing key stage 4 was 94.1%, up 0.2 percentage points in comparison to the previous year's cohort (2013/14). 

The proportion of students who sustained an overall destination three years after finishing key stage 4 was 83.0%. This remained unchanged from the previous year's cohort. 

Finally, 81.0% of students had an overall sustained destination five years after finishing key stage 4, down by 0.3 percentage points in comparison to the previous year's cohort.

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What are destination measures?

What are destination measures?

Destination measures provide information on the success of schools and colleges in helping young people continue in education, apprenticeships or employment. 

Longer term destinations focuses on destination activity 1, 3 and 5 years after completing key stage 4.

This differs from the standard measures which focus on activity in the first year after completing key stage 4 (for example GCSEs) or 16 to 18 study (for example A levels). 

The most recent data reports on students who left key stage 4 in the 2014/15 academic year and identifies their main activity in the 2015/16, 2017/18 and 2019/20 academic years.

The student will be age 16/17 in the first year after leaving key stage 4 (2015/16 destination year), the student will be age 18/19 in the third year after leaving key stage 4 (2017/18 destination year) and the student will be age 20/21 in the fifth year after leaving key stage 4 (2019/20 destination year). 

Impact of COVID-19 on destination measures

As this publication is looking at activity 1, 3 and 5 years after finishing key stage 4 it is mostly unaffected by the COVID-19 disruption. The only exception to this is data for students progressing to apprenticeships in year 5, this is because the methodology takes into account whether students have sustained an apprenticeship for 6 months at anytime in the 2019/20 academic year (between August 2019 and July 2020), rather than the first two terms for other destinations.  Please see the ‘constructing the measure’ section of the methodology for full details on destination definitions.

What is a ‘sustained’ destination? 

To be counted in a destination, young people have to be recorded as having sustained participation for a 6 month period in the destination year. This means attending for all of the first two terms of the academic year (October to March) at one or more education providers, or spending 5 of the 6 months in employment, or a combination of the two. Alternatively a sustained apprenticeship is recorded when 6 months continuous participation is recorded at any point in the destination year.

This six-month requirement encourages schools and colleges to support and prepare their students to progress to a destination that offers sustained engagement.

In this longer term destinations measure, a sustained destination in the fifth year requires six months of activity in the fifth year only, not sustained activity throughout the five-year period (and likewise for destinations in the third year).

Pupil characteristics

Who is a disadvantaged student?

This information comes from local authority records and School Census. 

Disadvantaged pupils are those who were eligible for pupil premium when they were in Year 11 at school. This includes pupils who had:

  • been eligible for free school meals at any point in the previous six years
  • been looked after by their local authority for at least 1 day
  • left care through adoption, a special guardianship order, or a child arrangements order (previously known as a residence order).

Disadvantage Status

The gap between disadvantaged students and non-disadvantaged students sustaining an overall destination was widest 5 years after finishing key stage 4 study

Students who were disadvantaged in key stage 4 were less likely to have an overall sustained destination in the year after finishing key stage 4, compared to non-disadvantaged students. This appears to have been driven by non-disadvantaged students being more likely to sustain an education destination than disadvantaged students. The gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students widened 3 years after they finished key stage 4 and was widest 5 years after finishing key stage 4 study (67.3% vs 86.0%, respectively).  

Similarly, non-disadvantaged students were more likely to sustain an apprenticeship destination 1, 3 and 5 years after finishing key stage 4 study compared to disadvantaged students. 

Disadvantaged students were more likely to sustain an employment destination 1 year after finishing key stage 4 study compared to non-disadvantaged students. However, non-disadvantaged students were more likely to sustain employment destinations 3 years after finishing key stage 4 study than disadvantaged students. Interestingly, disadvantaged students became more likely to sustain employment destinations 5 years after finishing key stage 5 study than non-disadvantaged students.

Prior Attainment

Students who achieved A* to C in English and Maths at key stage 4 were more likely to sustain  an overall destination 1, 3 and 5 years after finishing key stage 4 than those who did not achieve these grades

Students who achieved A* to C in English and Maths at key stage 4 were more likely to sustain an overall destination 1,3 and 5 years after finishing key stage 4 than those students who did not achieve these grades. This gap was driven by students who had higher prior attainment being more likely to sustain an education destination than those who had lower prior attainment. 

Students who did not achieve A* to C in English and Maths were more likely to sustain apprenticeship destinations 1 and 3 years after finishing key stage 4 than those students who did achieve these grades (6.7% vs 3.5% and 11.0% vs 9.3%, respectively). Students who had higher prior attainment were 0.4 percentage points more likely to sustain an apprenticeship destination 5 years after finishing key stage 4 study than those students who had lower prior attainment.

Students who did not achieve A* to C in English and Maths were more likely to sustain employment destinations 1, 3 and 5 years after finishing key stage 4 study than those students who did achieve these grades.

Gender

Female students were more likely to have an overall sustained destination 1, 3 and 5 years after finishing key stage 4 that male students 

Female students were 0.9 percentage points more likely to have an overall sustained destination than male students in the first year after finishing key stage 4. This difference has been driven by female students being more likely to sustain an education destination than male students.

The gap between the proportion of female and male students who sustained an overall destination widened at 3 years and remained stable 5 years  after finishing key stage 4 study. This gap is likely to be driven by female students being more likely to sustain an education destination than male students 1, 3 and 5 years after finishing key stage 4 study.

Male students were more likely than female students to sustain apprenticeship destinations. The gap between the proportion of male and female students who sustained an apprenticeship destination widened at 3 years and remained relatively stable 5 years after finishing key stage 4 study. 

In a similar way, male students were more likely than female students to sustain employment destinations than female students 1 year after finishing key stage 4. Interestingly, female students were more likely to sustain employment destinations 3 years after finishing key stage 4 study than male students . Male students became more likely to sustain employment destinations 5 years after finishing key stage 4 study than female students.

Geographical location

Destinations by Region

Students in the North East were less likely to have an overall sustained destination 1, 3 and 5 years after key stage 4 study than students from other regions in England

Students in the East of England, South East, South West and Outer London were most likely to sustain a destination 1, 3  and 5 years after they finished key stage 4. Students in London, Inner London and Outer London were most likely to sustain an education destination 1, 3 and 5 years after finishing key stage 4.

Students in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and North West were most likely to sustain an apprenticeship destination 1 and 3 years after finishing key stage 4. Students in the North East, North West and South West were most likely to sustain an apprenticeship destination 5 years after completing key stage 4 study.

Students in the East Midlands, North East and North West were most likely to sustain an employment destination 1 year after finishing key stage 4. Students in the South West, South East and East of England were most likely to sustain an employment destination 3 and 5 years after finishing key stage 4 study. 

Level of destination

Education destinations

More than half of the students who had a sustained education destination were in a sixth form college or school sixth form a year after finishing key stage 4 study

Most students who had sustained an education destination were studying at a sixth form college or school sixth form a year after finishing key stage 4 study (51.7%); 33.9% were studying at a Further education institution and 0.9% were studying at another education institution.

Three years after finishing key stage 4 study the majority of students who had a sustained education destination were at a UK higher education institution (29.4%), 14.2% were at a Further Education institution, 3.9% were at a sixth form college or school sixth form and 0.6% were at another education institution. 

Of the students who had sustained education destinations, there was an even greater proportion of students studying at UK higher education institutions 5 years after finishing key stage 4 study (39.3%); 1.7% were studying at Further Education institutions and 0.8% were studying at other education institutions. 

 

Apprenticeship destinations

Students who sustained an apprenticeship destination were most likely to be studying an intermediate level apprenticeship a year after finishing key stage 4

3.7% of students sustained an intermediate apprenticeship destination a year after finishing key stage 4 study, while 1.1% sustained an advanced apprenticeship.

The majority of students who had sustained an apprenticeship 3 and 5 years after finishing key stage 4 were studying advanced apprenticeships (5.1% and 3.6%, respectively). This was followed by intermediate apprenticeships and higher and degree apprenticeships.

 

Change across the years

The proportion of students who had an overall sustained destination 1,3 and 5 years after finishing key stage 4 study remained steady for cohorts from 2012/13 to 2014/15

There was a slight increase in the proportion of students who had an overall sustained destination 1 year after finishing key stage 4 study from 2012/13 to 2014/15. There was minimal change in the proportion of students who had an overall sustained destination 3 and 5 years after key stage 4 study from 2012/13 to 2014/15.

Longitudinal employment outcomes (LEO) data was added in 2014/15 and so it is probable that the slight increase in sustained destinations is due to this. 

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Methodology

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

Official statistics

These are Official Statistics and have been produced in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

This can be broadly interpreted to mean that 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

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

Contact us

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If you have a specific enquiry about Longer term destinations statistics and data:

Destination measures

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