§ Mr. Frank Field
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many young people in England at (a) the minimum school leaving age, (b) one year above and (c) two years above minimum school leaving age left school in 1985; and of these groups what is his best estimate of the number who (a) were eligible to leave at the end of the Easter term and (b) did leave at the end of the Easter term;
(2) how many young people in England took (a) general certificate of education O-levels, (b) certificate of secondary education examinations and (c) both sets of examinations in 1985; and of these groups what is his best estimate of the number who did not return to school in the September term.
§ Mr. Dunn
There were 736,200 school leavers during the academic year 1984–85. Of these, 504,300 were in their minimum school leaving age year, 84,800 pupils had stayed on at school for up to one year in the sixth form and 126,400 for up to two years of sixth form study.
It is estimated that 290,000, or 40 per cent., of pupils who attained minimum school leaving age in 1984–85 were eligible to leave school at Easter 1985 and 37,000 were reported as having left by that date. Pupils in sixth forms may leave school at any stage.
It is estimated that 490,300 school leavers in 1984–85 had attempted at least one GCE O-level examination, 580,600 had attempted a CSE examination and 398,900 had attempted at least one examination of each type. Comparable data for pupils who left school in their minimum school leaving age year were 276,900, 431,400 and 262,800 respectively.