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Analysis of participation in post-16 education and training

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  • Release date: 20 October 2011
  • Period covered: 2009/10
A biannual report providing data at both a national and local authority level.

In order to allow fair comparison between local authorities with different population characteristics this bulletin uses a measure of participation known as the “Standard Participation Rate”. The Standard Participation Rate (SPR) is a measure of how many post-16 learners there were from each local authority, compared to the number that might be expected to come from that authority based on the national average and the age and gender of people from that area. The higher the SPR the higher the level of participation in post-16 learning.

Key points

  • There was notable variation in the level of participation in education and training between local authorities, and this variation followed a broadly similar geographical pattern to that displayed in 2007/08 (the last year for which this analysis was undertaken).
  • The authorities with the highest standard participation rates (SPRs) for post-16 learners were Conwy, Pembrokeshire and Denbighshire. Conwy and Denbighshire had similarly high rates in 2007/08.
  • The lowest SPRs were found in Monmouthshire, Wrexham and Powys; whilst not the three lowest scoring local authorities in 2007/08 they did have SPRs below the Welsh national average for the year.
  • There was a noticeable fluctuation in the standard participation rate (SPR) of some local authorities when the Higher Education (HE) level learners were excluded from the analysis. For example, in Flintshire the below average participation at HE level is indicated by an eleven point rise in SPR when HE level learners are excluded from the cohort. Conversely, Ceredigion has a high level of HE participation resulting in an eight point higher SPR for the entire cohort than for the cohort excluding HE learners.
  • Nationally the overall level of participation was higher in the female post-16 learner cohort than the male.
  • The work-based learning cohort exhibited a large variation in participation between local authorities; much of this variation can be explained by historically diverse social and economic backgrounds.


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