Quarter 2 – September 2018 performance
The latest data available from the Department of Education is for the month of August 2018. Every September the Council undertakes an Annual Activity Survey to confirm the destinations of all young people in the academic years 12 and 13. The outcome of this challenging task is not completely evident until February of the following year, therefore any data analysis until then needs to be treated with caution. Our August figures suggest that we are on track with our NEET target but there is much work to be done to reduce the number of young people for whom we do not know their current destination. The Council is reliant on schools, colleges and training providers in sharing with us up-to-date, accurate information about the identity of their students, especially at enrolment time and if and when they leave, or do not actually start. The Council focuses a significant amount of time and resource in then following up those young people who do not appear on any student list. For those who are subsequently identified as NEET there is a countywide team of careers advisers ready to support them into finding appropriate education and training.
September 2018 figures
Quarter 1 - June 2018 performance
Since the last quarter (February 2018) the number of young people in West Sussex who are NEET has increased by 0.3%. This is relatively marginal and not unexpected for this time of year.
It is difficult to engage NEET young people, and find appropriate learning provision for them, at this time of year. In comparison to this time last year, however, NEET has increased by 0.6% which is more concerning. The Council is committed to providing careers support for any young person who is NEET and continues to try to contact and engage those who are identified as not participating.
At this time of year we are also focusing on those in the current Year 11 whose schools are suggesting may struggle with transition to post-16 education and training. We are currently working with around 300 of these students who have no intended destination post-16.
We have also recently been successful in gaining European funding of nearly £1m to help enhance our work with NEET young people. This project, called Think Futures, will be delivered in partnership with our local authority colleagues in Brighton and Hove and Surrey.
Our unknowns figure for this quarter has increased by 0.3%, but in comparison to this time last year, has decreased by 0.1%. We have a number of strategies in place for the new academic year to help us to continue to reduce our rate of unknowns. These include improved information sharing and deployment of additional resources.

Quarter 4 - March 2018 performance

The yearly Annual Activity Survey was completed at the end of February 2018 and the DfE base the performance of the Authority on the average figure for the months of December 2017, January 2018 and February 2018. The data for the month of February 2018 and the 3 month average can be seen below:

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.

February 2018 performance
The latest figures we have were those for the position at the end of January 2018, which showed the following:-
January 2018 performance
The December figures from the NCCIS data, are as follows:-

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.

Background

This measure is the proportion of West Sussex resident young people of academic age 16 and 17 who are not engaged in some form of education, employment or training. It is consistent with the Local Authorities duties to encourage, enable and assist young people to participate in education or training (Education and Skills Act 2008, S.68).