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£810m 'wasted' on England's failed, failing students


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A report has revealed that 178,000 16-18 year old students who failed to complete their post-16 education and training cost the public £814 million in 2012-2013.

Those that failed to finish or complete their AS or A level studies cost £316 million, those that failed to complete further education cost £302 million, and those who failed to achieve completion of their apprenticeships cost £196 million.

Approximately 12% of England’s post-16 education budget is being wasted on students dropping out of courses according to the report, which was carried out by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusions on behalf of the Local Government Association.

It is possible that these students were enrolled on courses in order to fill quotas and boost funding, since education institutions such as schools, sixth forms and colleges, are government funded, instead of being provided with adequate assistance and advice about what subjects to take or what vocational paths to follow.

Not only does student’s non-completion or non-achievement of these qualifications cost the public money, but this drop-out rate means that many young people risk being left marginalised, disheartened and confused in the world of work, not knowing what path to take or where to go for help or advice after they’ve dropped out.

Government funding for schools and colleges is based on the amount of students that enrol in their institution, so there is a risk that, instead of recruiting students after giving them adequate assistance with their educational options, institutions recruit as many students as possible in order to boost their funding.

The Chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, David Simmonds, says: “Councils want every young person to achieve their full potential but too many are still dropping out of post-16 education and training or not achieving a pass grade.”

The LGA is working to improve localised education and training opportunities rather than having institutions force the nationwide prescribed and imposed programmes on every student regardless of whether they suit them or not.

A spokesman for the Department of Education added: “We have invested £7.2bn to fund a place for every 16 and 17 year old in England who wants one. We are reforming academic qualifications and vocational education to ensure young people get the knowledge and skills that they need to move into a job.”

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