Our ‘invisible’ FE students need their stories to be told

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Have you heard of the “six-week leavers”? This is a group of 16-19 students who leave their college course within the first 42 days of term, don’t move on to another course at the same college, and become completely invisible to the system.

They are not small in number. There are, literally, thousands of these students. And because they leave within six weeks of the start of academic year, they don’t appear in official college statistics.

In 2016, Tes revealed that more than 30,000 young people were leaving colleges each year before that cut-off point. At the time, the data collected over two ...

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