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Student Wastage

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the (a) drop-out and (b) failure rate for young people attempting level 3 qualifications was in the most recent period for which figures are available. (161943)

The Learning and Skills Council collect data on learners enrolling on level 3 qualifications in further education (in general further education and tertiary colleges, sixth form colleges and external institutions). Drop-out and failure rates are not calculated, but retention rates and success rates are shown in Table 1 for those aged 16 to 18 studying towards a level 3 qualification with expected end year 2005/06.

Table 1: Success and Retention Rates for 16 to 18-year-olds enrolled on level 3 qualifications (excluding A/AS levels) in colleges, with expected end year 2005/06

Qualification Type

Starts (excluding transfers)

Success rate1 (percentage)

Retention rate2 (percentage)

A Level

6,400

78

87

A2

212,600

92

95

AS

414,600

75

88

GNVQ

27,000

70

76

NVQ

9,900

70

81

Other long qualifications

145,200

67

77

Short: 5 to 24 weeks

15,200

77

93

Short: Less than 5 weeks

1,500

84

98

1 Success rate is calculated as the number of aims achieved as a percentage of starts. 2 Retention rate is calculated as the number completing as a percentage of starts. Source: Learning and Skills Council Individualised Learner Record.

Equivalent data for those studying A/AS/A2 levels at school are not available. Student numbers achieving A levels in schools and colleges are reported in the DCSF Achievement and Attainment Tables, but different methodologies and timescales are used. Table 2 shows A level results of students aged 16 to 18 in schools and colleges taken from the Statistical First Release (SFR): GCE/VCE A/AS and Equivalent Examination Results in England (consistent with the Achievement and Attainment Tables data).

Table 2: GCE A level examination results of 16 to 18-year-old1 students

Total entries

Ungraded, no award (absent/declined) and pending (percentage)

2005/06

715,072

2.9

2006/07

720,083

2.7

1 Age at the start of the academic year i.e. 31 August. Source: GCE/VCE A/AS and Equivalent Examination Results in England, 2005/06 and 2006/07.