Reasons for Early Leaving from Further Education and Work-based Learning Courses

Simm C, Page R, Miller L | Research Report RR849 | Department for Education and Skills | May 2007

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This research is based on a survey of 2,180 learners who withdrew from at least one LSC-funded course during the 2004/05 academic year. The survey covers learners aged 16-18 and 19+, across further education and work-based learning.

The principal aims of this research were to:

  • assess the reasons for non-completion, and the relative importance of these reasons for different groups of learners and types of learning
  • find out what has happened to non-completers since they left their course, and what, if any, benefits they feel they obtained from that course
  • explore what, if anything, might be done to provide support or advice to learners considering dropping out of a course
  • identify policy mechanisms that might reduce non-completion.

Findings from the early leavers' survey are compared with those from surveys of completers aged 16-18 and 19+.

This survey is accompanied by a technical report outlining the details of the survey design, explaining the population definition, the sample selection, fieldwork procedures, fieldwork response, and weighting. The technical report is published separately and available to download in the link below.