Chapter 3: Initial to follow-up destination comparison
- 95.5 per cent of 2020/21 school leavers who were in a positive initial destination were also in a positive follow-up destination.
A school leaver’s follow-up destination, nine months after they leave school, may differ from their initial destination, three months after they leave school. Information on the initial destinations of 2020/21 school leavers was published in February 2022.
Chart 3 compares 2020/21 school leaver initial destination rates (3 months after leaving school) with follow-up destination rates (9 months after leaving school).
The possible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic should be considered when comparing initial and follow-up destinations for 2020/21 leavers – see sections 1.1 and 4.2. Caution should also be used when comparing patterns seen in 2020/21 leaver statistics to those of 2019/20 leavers, and when comparing either of those cohorts to previous years.
The percentage of 2020/21 school leavers in a positive follow-up destination (93.2 per cent) was lower than the percentage of school leavers in a positive initial destination (95.5 per cent). The same pattern can be seen across all previous school leaver cohorts since consistent records began in 2009/10.
The largest reductions between initial and follow-up destinations were in Further Education and Higher Education. The percentage of leavers in these destinations decreased by 5.0 and 4.8 percentage points, respectively. Analysis of leavers changing destinations (available in Table L1.8 of the supplementary tables) shows that the most common follow-up destination for those leaving Higher and Further Education was Employment.
The largest increase between initial destination and follow-up destination was in Employment. The proportion of leavers in this destination increased by 9.0 percentage points between initial destination and follow-up destination.
The proportion of leavers in Other destinations (see section 1.2) increased by 2.2 percentage points between initial and follow-up destinations. The percentage of Unemployed Seeking increased by 0.8 percentage points.
A time series of initial and follow-up destinations is available in the supplementary tables. A list of these tables is available in section 4.11.
Note 14: Bars in chart 3 which are white on the inside with a coloured outline show data on initial destinations of leavers. Bars which are a solid colour show data on follow-up destinations. The darker colour (used in the top portion of the chart) shows positive destinations, while the lighter colour (used in the lower portion) shows other destinations.
Chart 4 shows the percentage of school leavers whose follow-up destination was the same as their initial destination. In 2020/21, 95.5 per cent of those in a positive initial destination were also in a positive follow-up destination. This includes leavers in the same positive destination, and those who moved to another positive destination. The positive destination in which school leavers were most likely to remain between initial and follow-up was Employment, at 94.2 per cent; followed by Higher Education at 88.8 per cent. This differs from 2019/20 when Higher Education was the positive destination leavers were most likely to remain in (96.0 per cent).
School leavers whose initial destination was Personal Skills Development or Training were less likely to remain in the same destination. This may be due, in part, to the fact that some of these activities are short-term in nature (see section 4.6). Table L1.8 in the supplementary tables shows that for those leaving Training, the most common follow-up destination was Employment. For those leaving Personal Skills Development, the most common follow-up destination was Training.
More information on school leavers who sustained a destination or moved into another destination category is available in the supplementary tables. A list of these tables is available in section 4.11.
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