The Department of Education has published data on the qualifications and destinations of school leavers for the 2015/16 year.
This statistical bulletin presents an analysis of the GCSE and A-level qualifications and destinations of pupils leaving post-primary schools in 2015/16.
- The proportion of school leavers achieving at least five GCSEs at grades A* - C or equivalent has increased by 8.5 percentage points from five years ago, from 73.2% in 2010/11 to 81.7% in 2015/16.
- At 67.7%, the proportion of school leavers achieving at least five GCSEs at grades A* - C or equivalent including GCSE English and maths has increased by 1.7 percentage points since 2014/15 (66.0%) and by 8.2 percentage points since 2010/11 (59.5%).
- The proportion of free school meal entitled school leavers achieving at least five GCSEs at grades A* - C or equivalent including GCSE English and maths increased by 3.5 percentage points from 41.3% in 2014/15 to 44.8% in 2015/16.
- The proportion of school leavers achieving three or more A-levels at grades A* - C or equivalent was 38.4% in 2015/16, an increase of 2.8 percentage points from five years ago (35.6% in 2010/11).
- The proportion of school leavers continuing on to Institutions of Higher Education has increased slightly to 42.9% in 2015/16. Overall, 95.8% of school leavers were recorded by their school as entering Education, Employment or Training.
Notes to editors:
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3. You can also find National Statistics on the Gov.uk website.
School Leavers’ Survey
4. For more detail about the collection of school leavers statistics visit the DE website.
Special analysis of the school leavers’ survey can be produced on request.
5. Information presenting qualifications and destinations of school leavers in Wales, England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland is not reported as policy differences between the regions make direct comparisons difficult. Figures relating to these regions can be accessed at the links below:
6. A comparison of Northern Ireland pupils is available in an international context through the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). PISA, organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) aims to compare standards of achievement for 15 year olds in reading, mathematics and science, between participating countries. It takes place every 3 years. 2015 results were published in December 2016 and can be viewed on the DE website.
7. Further information on examination equivalencies can be obtained from the Ofqual website.
8. The numbers relating to qualifications are cumulative totals of the level detailed and those above. For example 81.7% of school leavers achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C inc. equivalents. This proportion is calculated by adding those with a highest qualification of 3+ A-levels, 2 A-levels, 1 A-level & 5 GCSEs A*-C and dividing by the total number of school leavers.
9. Destinations are reported by the school leaver and recorded by the school.
10. Since 2012/13, two AS qualifications have not been counted as one A-level as in previous years.
11. The school leaving cohort comprises of year 12, 13 and 14 pupils leaving mainstream grant aided post-primary schools. As the school leavers data collection and validation process took place in the 2016/17 academic year, it was not possible to collect or validate information for a small number of pupils who left schools that had closed at the end of the 2015/16 academic year.
12. Further Information
Requests for further information should be addressed to:-Amanda Lennon
Analytical Services Unit
Department of Education
Telephone: (028) 9127 9215
Fax: (028) 9127 9100
13. DE Statistical Bulletins can be accessed at the DE Internet site under the Statistics and research section.
14. Please send any feedback on the content or presentation of this publication to the E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
15. Media enquires to the Department of Education’s Press Office on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.
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