New research investigates young people's transitions to post-compulsory education in Wales
24 May 2023
Using de-identified Welsh education data sources, ADR Wales researchers investigated transitions from compulsory education at around the age of 16 to post-compulsory education in Wales.
The linked datasets allowed the researchers to identify the characteristics of those who do, and do not, transition to further learning. These included the Welsh National Data Collection Pupil Level Annual School Census, the Post-16 Pupil Level Annual School Census, and the Lifelong Learner Wales Record.
The team found:
- Attendance at further education (FE) colleges was the most common next step for Year 11 pupils with around 55% registering at FE colleges. This was followed by 40% of pupils who went on to attend a sixth form.
- About 8% of pupils could not be found within the records.
There are a number of reasons that Year 11 pupils cannot be located with the post-compulsory education data. The 2020 Careers Wales Destinations Survey suggested that around 3% of Year 11 pupils went into employment, a further 3% were undertaking work-based training (but were not employees), while a small minority ‘left the area’. The remainder are likely to be economically inactive.
The team’s findings suggest that pupils who are eligible for free school meals and those with special education needs (SEN) status could benefit from targeted support to enter and remain in post-compulsory education.