To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2015 to Question 222508, what steps her Department is taking to improve its tracking and monitoring at (a) local authority and (b) national level of young people at risk of (i) having an unknown educational status and (ii) not being in employment, education or training.
Local authorities (LAs) are responsible for collecting information to identify young people who are not participating, or who are at risk of not doing so; this information is aggregated to produce national level data. Steps to improve the tracking and monitoring of young people are focussed on the activity of individual LAs.
The Department regularly makes data available to show the proportion of young people in each LA: who are participating; who are not in education, employment or training (NEET); or whose activity is unknown. Those LAs who are performing poorly on monitoring this information are followed up and monitored, so that improvement actions can be agreed with them.
The Department is exploring whether further data sharing is possible between government departments and agencies, as this would help LAs track and monitor their young people’s outcomes and destinations. Arrangements have already been made for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to pass details of 18 and 19 year olds making a new claim for benefits to LAs each month, to help identify young people NEET.
The Department continues to encourage and support networking and the exchange of good practice among LAs. The Local Government Association has published a guide to support LAs in tracking young people, drawing on local practice. The Department will also further identify and share with LAs successful approaches to improving their data about young people.