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Nearly half are at college

Almost one in two 16 to 21-year-olds (45.6 per cent) were in some form of full-time education last year compared with 26 per cent 10 years ago, a Government statistical bulletin has revealed.

The biggest growth has been in higher education and numbers staying on at school.

In further education, the proportion of full-timers has risen from 5.4 per cent to 8.8 per cent of the age group, although the attractions of secondaries has cut the number of young part-time FE students.

The proportion staying on at school rose from 24.6 per cent to 37.3 per cent and students in higher education rose from 14.5 per cent to 31.6 per cent.

Between 1985-86 and 1995-96, the number of young people in the age group fell by 28.3 per cent, down from 534,900 to 383,400.

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