The table in the attachment shows learners aged between 16 and 25 with Autism Spectrum Disorder participating in further education and skills programmes in the academic year 2012/13 to 2015/16 (final year figures) and reported to date in 2016/17 (provisional full year figures).
Changes in the methodology of data collection between 2014/15 to 2015/16 produced a variation in learner numbers. This was due to a revision in the way learners with learning difficulties and disabilities were categorised. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/478551/ILRSpecification2015_16_v4_Nov2015.pdf
From the 2015/16 academic year a learning provider can record multiple disabilities on the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) that collects this data. This has led to an increase in the number of learners being reported against certain disabilities.
Prior to 2015/16 only the primary disability was recorded, therefore comparisons of figures in 2015/16 and 2016/17 should not be made with earlier years.