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Boys and girls go different ways

Almost two-thirds of girls (61 per cent) went on to further or higher education after leaving school this year compared with less that half of boys (47 per cent), according to figures published this week.

However, the gender split was reversed when it came to employment: 31 per cent of boys went into jobs after school compared with 22 per cent of girls.

Of the leavers who were unemployed but seeking employment, 13 per cent were boys compared with 9 per cent of girls, while the proportion of girls who were unemployed and not seeking employment was 3 per cent compared with 2 per cent of boys.

The statistics would appear to bear out concerns that girls make up a significant proportion of the Neet group (not in education, employoment or training) who cause the greatest concern - those with poor or no employment prospects, rather than the part of the group who are doing a "gap" year or are similarly engaged.

Overall, 54 per cent of the 56,619 youngsters who left school last year went on to higher or further education - a rise of 1 per cent from 2004-05.

Signigicantly, there was a two percentage point increase in those going on to full-time further education.

Altogether, 30 per cent of school-leavers went into full-time higher education, which includes HND, HNC and degree courses, while 23 per cent went into full-time further education.

The proportion of youngsters going into employment after leaving school dropped by 1 per cent to 26 per cent, while the number going into training remained the same at 5 per cent.

For 2 per cent of school leavers, their destination was unknown.

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