Quarter 4 - March 2018 performance
West Sussex is within the fifth quintile of Authorities within the South East for its performance on the percentage of young people with a combined ‘NEET’ and ‘unknown’destination. With the exception of the percentage of NEET young people, West Sussex is performing below that of the South East and National average on the percentage of unknowns, percentage in Learning and Percentage in EET. All four areas have seen a dip in performance in February 2018 compared to February 2017 as the table below shows:
The efficiency of data sharing with schools and post 16 providers was improved considerably this year. This resulted in the ‘unknown’ cohort decreasing from 31.3% in September 2017 to just 9.3% in November 2017. The use of the West Sussex County Council Contact Centre staff and Integrated Prevention and Earliest Help) IPEH Hub staff to contact the remaining unknowns did reduce this cohort further, particularly for the academic age 16 (year 12) cohort. However, it is clear that a different approach is required to lower this unknown cohort to on a par with our neighbours. As such, with effect from 1 April, the careers advisor team within Education and Skills will be responsible for proactively contacting any young people with an unknown destination and supporting them into EET if required. This will be in addition to case managing the NEET list. This team will also have the support of 4 new Apprentices directly responsible for this tracking work.
Quarter 3 - December 2017 performance
The latest data available from the Department for Education (DFE) is for the month of November 2017 and this is shown in the table below. From September 2017 the Authority undertakes an Annual Activity Survey to confirm the actual destinations of all young people of academic age 16 and 17. This work continues until February 2018 and therefore the data will not be robust until the end of this tracking period. Comparison with regional and national data needs to be treated with some caution until then. West Sussex is well on track to achieve this year’s NEET target.
During the academic year 2016-17 the Council’s careers advisers worked with a total of 576 young people with multiple and complex needs who were at high risk of becoming NEET within the Year 11 cohort. Careers advisers followed up these young people through the summer and into September to help them access the right post-16 education and training options for them. Currently over 80% of this cohort have successfully progressed in their education and career plans and advisers continue to offer support to those who have yet to make this step. Those who have been NEET for longer are also being offered careers and other support to help them re-engage with education and training. One of the challenges with this is to maintain contact with these young people, something the Council is actively seeking to improve upon.
Quarter 2 - September 2017 performance
The latest data available from the Department for Education (DfE) is for the month of August 2017 and this is shown in the table below. From September the Authority will be undertaking the Annual Activity Survey to confirm the actual destinations of all young people of academic age 16 and 17. This work will continue between September 2017 and February 2018 and therefore the data will not be robust until the end of this tracking period.
The DfE do not monitor the performance of Authorities over the summer months due to young people finishing courses early (i.e. May/June) and the impending Annual Activity Survey which starts in September. As such, comparison with the regional and national data needs to be treated with some caution for August. The percentage of young people ‘In Learning’ in West Sussex is higher for August than the regional and national figures. Those in EET remain slightly lower in West Sussex compared with the national picture, although West Sussex has a higher percentage EET than the region. 16 and 17 year olds who are NEET also remain lower in West Sussex. While the percentage of young people with an unknown EET situation remains high in West Sussex in comparison with other areas, the gap has fallen considerably for August. However, this is most likely due to other areas waiting to re-confirm the destinations of their school leavers and year 13 young people from September onwards. Acomparison of the current August data with August 2016, shows that improvements have been made across the board with Unknown figures 1.2% lower this year; In Learning figures 1.6% higher; NEET figures 0.3% lower and the percentage of those in any form of EET being 1.4% higher. Although we have found out the EET details of more young people this year, our NEET figures have reduced, thereby suggesting that many of our unknowns may well be participating in some form of EET as opposed to being NEET.