Warwickshire continues to excel at supporting 16 and 17 year olds
“Ensuring all of our young people in Warwickshire have a bright future and access to opportunities for rewarding employment is one of the county council’s key priorities."
A recent publication from the Department for Education (DfE) has shown that, once again, Warwickshire County Council (WCC) is one of the most successful local authorities in the country for ensuring 16 and 17 year old residents are either in education, employment or training.
The DfE require all local authorities to collect and report information about a young person’s post-16 activity on a monthly basis. Warwickshire’s numbers of young people either not in education, employment or training (NEETs) are currently standing at around two thirds of both the regional and national average.
This year, Warwickshire has 2% of 16 and 17 year olds in a NEET situation and 1.9% whose activities were not known. This gives a combined score of 3.8% which compares to the West Midlands average of 5.7% and the England average of 5.5%.
This marks a trend in which Warwickshire has been excelling in recent years and the county is now placed amongst the highest performing areas of England, based on comparable local authority areas (size/population etc). Since 2017, Warwickshire has consistently reported significant improvement in the reduction of the numbers of young people who were NEET, including those 16 and 17 year olds whose activity is not known.
All local authorities are required to collect and report information on a young person’s post-16 activity, so that the government can publish a national reports and an overall scorecard.
The DfE can then monitor those 16 and 17 year olds who are not taking part in education, employment and training, (known as NEETs). The department also introduced a new headline measure in 2016 to include those young people whose activity is not known.
Warwickshire is also firmly bucking the tend in how it performs in keeping young people with special education needs and disabilities (those with an Education, Health and Care Plan - EHCP) in education, employment or training.
Participation in education, employment or training for 16 and 17 year olds with a plan currently stands at 93.5%. The median for the West Midlands is 89.2%, an identical figure to the national average.
Cllr Jeff Morgan, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Families and Education, said: “Ensuring all of our young people in Warwickshire have a bright future and access to opportunities for rewarding employment is one of the county council’s key priorities.
“I am delighted that the government’s most recent report shows we continue to have such a low proportion of 16 and 17 year olds who are not participating in education, employment or training.
“It shows our systematic approach, our robust tracking and our excellent partnerships with schools, colleges and training providers is proving very successful. It also shows that we have not rested on our laurels following recent successes but have built on that progress. While I am delighted with this year’s performance, I hope that the trend will continue in Warwickshire over coming years.
“I am similarly thrilled that the excellent performance is reflected in our cohort of young people with SEND as well.
“I would like to thank, both personally and on behalf of Warwickshire County Council, all the schools, colleges and training providers across the county who offer a fantastic range of education and training provisions that engages our young people and ensure that these figures are consistently low.
“This achievement is made all the more profound in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic when other local authority areas both in the West Midlands and England have seen their NEET figures increase as a direct result of the pandemic.”
More information about Warwickshire’s support for NEET children in Warwickshire can be found online: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/neet