The proportion of 18-year-olds enrolled in full-time education in England has fallen for the first time since 2001, according to the latest figures from the Department of Education. Some 46 per cent of 18-year-olds were in full-time education in 2012, compared with 50.3 per cent the previous year, and the statistics suggest this is down to an increase in employment rates for this age group. There was also a small increase of 0.3 per cent of those in part-time education, which may include distance learning courses.
The figures come shortly after a report from the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), which revealed a drop of seven per cent in the proportion of 17 to 24-year-olds taking part in some form of education. Following the government’s recent Spending Review for 2015-16, NIACE chief executive David Hughes said it is vital that Britain continues to invest in adult learning.
In a statement, Mr Hughes said: “Some of today’s measures show a recognition by government of the importance of investing in education across all ages, a point reinforced in the recent CBI survey which stated that, ‘there is no more important issue facing this country than education’ … This is essential for Britain’s social and economic well-being.”