Too many teenagers in England are dropping out of school or college or failing to pass their courses, because of poor advice, say councillors. A report for the LGA suggests the teenage dropout rate costs the country £814m a year. Researchers have said 92,000 students withdrew from schools, primarily from AS and A-levels; 24,200 did not complete apprenticeships or training courses and an estimated 61,900 withdrew from FE courses. The teenagers at greatest risk of dropping out were apprentices, with a quarter not finishing, suggest the figures.For the young person it means coping with uncertainty and a sense of failure and with hard decisions about what to do next.
The LGA says the current approach to post-16 education does not allow schools and colleges to help teenagers find the right courses. “Local councils, colleges, schools and employers know how to best help their young people and should have devolved funding and powers to work together to give young people the best chance of building careers and taking jobs that exist locally,” said Cllr David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA’s children and young people board. The Association of Colleges said the reasons for young people not finishing their courses were “complex”.
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