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Welsh Government

Pupil Destinations 2019

Careers Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government provides a useful snapshot of pupil destinations which informs careers staff in their work with customers, parents, teachers and employers.

The annual survey of school leavers undertaken by Careers Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government provides a useful snapshot of pupil destinations which informs careers staff in their work with customers, parents, teachers and employers. The data collected also proves an invaluable aid to partners and colleagues involved in planning learning, training and employment opportunities.

This survey is compiled from data supplied by Careers Wales and looks at the education, employment and training progression routes chosen by young people. Further analysis is provided by students’ ethnicity and gender (where this information is available).

The survey reports the destinations of 53,203 students from secondary and all age schools across Wales. It includes students who have reached statutory leaving age, Year 11, and students leaving school in Years 12 and 13. Students from special schools are also included in the survey; those attending FE colleges and independent schools are not. Males account for 49% of the total cohort (26,078) and Females 50.9% (27,099). 26 students identified themselves in the ‘Other’ category for gender. The destination information is recorded as a result of the pupil’s known activity on 31st October 2019.

Careers Wales no longer conducts an intensive search for those not responding to the survey. In order to reduce the number of non-respondents to as low a number as possible, Careers Wales relies on partner institutions sharing student enrolment and destination information. For the destination cohort of 2018, following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), it was not possible to agree data-sharing agreements with all FE institutions across the country in time for completion of the 2018 survey. This meant that the number of non-respondents that year was much higher than in previous years. As 2018 destination data was not comparable with previous years, there is no narrative commentary in this 2019 report related to trend data. If any comparisons were to be made, they would be likely to draw inaccurate conclusions.

Please note:

  • Percentages have been rounded and therefore may not always total 100%
  • National figures may mask variances at regional, local authority and institution level across all cohorts. Reports providing pupil destinations by local authority area are provided to support analysis at local level
  • Graphics may not be to exact scale and are for visual representation only
Year 11 Pupil Destinations from Schools in Wales 2019

View the overall figures of Year 11 pupil destinations from schools in Wales 2019.

Year 12 Pupil Destinations from Schools in Wales 2019

View data on overall figures and other analysis of year 12 pupil destinations 2019

Year 13 Pupil Destinations from Schools in Wales 2019

View the overall figures of Year 13 pupil destinations from schools in Wales 2019.

Data limitations

A Note on Trend Data.

Between 2012 and 2017 it was possible to track destinations data and identify trend data. As noted in the introduction however, there were additional challenges in collecting the 2018 destination data, with an observed increase in non-response and variation within this by local authority. For that reason, this year’s report, as was the case with the 2018 report, consists of a short summary of the data for 2019 and does not seek to establish any comparability with the existing time series and will therefore not comment on trends. The summary will include local authority data, but will not compare the data with previous years or across authorities.

However, it is worth noting that the rate of non-respondents for Year 11 in 2019 is 1.1% (350 individuals) compared to 3.5% (1043 individuals) in 2018 and compared to 0.5% (169 individuals) in 2017.

For Year 12 in 2019 it was 2.2% (268 individuals) compared to 3.7% (482 individuals) in 2018 and 1.6% (220 individuals) in 2017.

Year 13 stood at 9.6% in 2019 (1011 individuals), 11.6% (1275 individuals) in 2018 and 3.7% in 2017 (436 individuals). With the exception of Year 13, the non-respondent rates for 2019 have moved closer to the levels seen in 2017, but still haven’t returned to pre-2018 levels.

Having non-respondents skews the data relating to certain groups meaning that comparing across different years is likely to draw inaccurate conclusions. To illustrate, the Known Not to be in Education, Training or Employment figure in 2018 for year 11 was the same as it was in 2017 at 1.6% (491 individuals in 2017 compared to 476 individuals in 2018). However, the percentage of Year 11 leavers continuing in full-time education in 2018 was 1.9 percentage points lower than in 2017 (86.4% (25,626 individuals) compared to 88.2% (27,189 individuals). Alongside non-respondents (up by 3 percentage points), these two categories represented the biggest differences across the two years. Whilst it might have been reasonable to surmise, in the absence of starter information from some FE colleges, that the majority of the non-respondents had continued in full-time education in FE, we cannot assume this is the case.


Most headings used in the destination reports are self-explanatory. However, the following may assist understanding.

Further Education (FE): Further Education at a college, including post 16 Tertiary colleges, rather than in school 6th form (years 12 and 13).

Work Based Training – non employed status: This includes all Government supported work based training without employed status.

Work Based Training – employment status: This includes Modern Apprenticeships and other Government supported training of employees.

WBTYP: Work Based Training for Young People.

Entering the labour market: This term refers to all pupils with a destination of Work Based Training – non employed status, Work Based Training – employed status or Employed – Other.

Known not to be in education, employment or training (NEET): This includes those unavailable for work and those registered with Careers Wales as unemployed. Young people in part time education (16 hours or less per week) were previously included in this category but have been recorded separately since 2009.

Gap Year: Only those on a formal gap year (for example have applied to UCAS and have deferred entry to Higher Education) are included in the gap year figures. Individuals who have not gone into Higher Education, but who are thinking of applying have been included under other relevant destinations (as at 31st October 2019).

Full Time Education: Those in education of more than 16 hours per week.

Part Time Education: Those in part time education of 16 hours or less per week. These were previously included in the NEET category but have been recorded separately since 2009.

Left the area: Those who are known to have left Wales.

White: A combined total for White British; White Irish; White Other.

Minority ethnic groups: A combined total for Mixed White & Black Caribbean; Mixed White and Black African; Mixed White and Asian; Mixed Other; Indian, Pakistani; Bangladeshi; Other Asian; Caribbean; African; Other Black; Chinese; Other Ethnic Group.