Local authorities should be given legal powers to ensure all schools and academies provide information on those who drop out of education, according to Ofsted.
With new figures showing nearly 1.18 million young people are not in full-time education or employment, the education watchdog is warning the number of 16-14 year olds whose whereabouts is not known is increasing.
Ofsted’s director for further education and skills, Lorna Fitzjohn, is calling for a more reliable system to track young people between education and training providers, and for councils to have more power to ensure educational providers disclose those who drop out.
Ms Fitzjohn said: ‘It is simply not enough to keep young people in education and training longer if they still fail to gain meaningful qualifications and experience that will help them achieve their career goals. Instead, all this will do for many is delay their inevitable fall into the NEET category.
'This is why we need clear and combined action by the Government, local authorities and employers to overcome these failures. During our visits to local authorities and providers, which informed our survey report, we saw a number of examples that showed it is possible to successfully alter provision to meet the needs of young people.’
A new publication, Transforming 16 to 19 education and training: the early implementation of 16 to 19 study programmes, reveals the implementation of tailored education provision and career advice has been ‘slow and weak’.