HL Deb 06 June 1996 vol 572 c138WA

What are the procedures for collecting data concerning young people and the qualifications they achieve so as to establish progress being made towards the National Targets for Education and Training for Foundation Learning.

Lord Henley

Progress towards Foundation Targets 1 and 3 is measured using data from the Labour Force Survey. This is a large household survey conducted by the Office of National Statistics which provides quite detailed information on the qualifications held by people of working age within the UK and their personal characteristics. The sample sizes for single age years, however, is not sufficient to provide the required level of precision and so data for three ages combined are used: ages 19, 20 and 21 for Foundation Target 1 and ages 21, 22 and 23 for Foundation Target 3.

The Department for Education and Employment collects complete data on awards of GCSEs within England and collects data on awards of vocational qualification in the UK from several larger awarding bodies, giving an estimated coverage of about three-quarters of vocational qualifications. The Welsh Office, Scottish Office and Northern Ireland Office also collect data on awards of GCSEs or their equivalents within their own countries. These data will be used to provide estimates for progress towards Foundation Target 2.