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Further Education: Admissions

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 15 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the September Guarantee in meeting its objectives; and if he will make a statement. (247237)

Figures collected by Connexions services show that 94.2 per cent. of 16-year-olds who completed compulsory education in 2008 said that they wanted to remain in learning, and received an offer under the September Guarantee. This is an increase from 91.8 per cent. in 2007, the first year of the Guarantee.

The Guarantee was extended to 17-year-olds in 2008, and almost 80 per cent. of those who had been engaged on a short course or who were not in education, employment or training (NEET), also received an offer.

Statistics on the proportion of young people participating in learning, or who are NEET, are published annually by DCSF. The proportion of 16-year-olds in learning has risen steadily over the last seven years, with an acceleration in 2007 when the September Guarantee was first introduced. It is not possible to separate out the effects of the Guarantee from other factors, but feedback from local areas suggests that it had a significant impact on supporting this improvement. 2008 participation and NEET statistics are due to be published in June 2009.

Successful delivery of the Guarantee is a key step towards preparing local authorities, and their partners, for the raising of the age at which young people will participate in education or training to 17 in 2013 and 18 in 2015.