Commenting on the publication of statistics by the Department for Education (DfE) on the participation of 16 to 18 year-olds in education, training and employment, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“These figures are a reflection of the Coalition Government’s short-sighted, destructive and illogical reforms of the education and training system for young people.
“It is no coincidence that the numbers of young people staying in education post-16 have fallen for the first time in a decade a year on from the Government’s scandalous decision to axe the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
“Removing this funding enabled thousands of our most disadvantaged young people to access further education, and combined with the hike in university tuition fees and cuts to the careers service, has effectively locked out a generation from gaining the skills and opportunities they need to succeed.
“This has led to the corresponding rise we have also seen today in the number on young people not in education, training or employment.
“The Government must act now to reverse its policy of cuts and destructive reforms to the education system which are crippling young people’s life chances.”
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