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5.3  High-level findings

Use of education services by at-risk children and youth

Figure 9 shows the extent to which children aged 6 to 14 with two or more risk indicators had used various education services in the 5 years to 2015. The size of the orange circle on the left-hand side shows the number of service users for each service, while the blue circle on the right-hand side is indicative of the size of the risk group selected. The overlap between the two circles shows the degree to which young people are both in the selected risk group, and have used that service. This overlap is the main group of interest in this analysis, and can also be expressed as a percentage of the orange circle (the proportion of service users considered to be at risk), or as a percentage of the blue circle (the proportion of the risk group who had accessed the service ie service coverage for the risk group).

Figure 9: Use of selected education services by at-risk 6 to 14-year-olds in the five years to 2015

Figure 9: Use of selected education services by at-risk 6 to 14-year-olds in the five years to 2015.

As we saw in Section 3.3 around 14 percent of all 6 to 14-year-olds were considered to be at risk in 2015. For all education services we can see that service users were much more likely to come from an at-risk background than the general population of children. This varied from 24 percent in the case of Reading recovery and Special education, up to 47 percent for Interim response fund. The most commonly accessed service for at-risk children was Reading recovery, with almost ten thousand 6 to 14-year-olds (or 13 percent of children at risk) having accessed the service in the previous five years.

Figure 10 shows the extent to which youth aged 15-19 who had two or more risk indicators at age 15 used selected education services in the 5 years to 2015. As for the younger group of children, service users were generally much more likely to come from an at-risk background than the general population of young people. This varied from 24 percent in the case of Secondary-Tertiary programmes, up to 65 percent for Alternative Education [14]. Around five thousand youth aged 15-19 had used Alternative Education services in the five years to 2015. This represents 12 percent of all 15 to 19-year-old youth who had two or more risk indicators.

Figure 10: Use of selected education services by at-risk 15 to 19-year-olds in the five years to 2015
Figure 10: Use of selected education services by at-risk 15 to 19-year-olds in the five years to 2015   .

Figure 11 shows the extent to which youth aged 15 to 19 years who had two or more risk indicators at age 15 had accessed funding to support tertiary study in the past five years. This funding varies in the extent to which it is targeted at at-risk youth, and this is reflected in the extent of overlap with the population of at-risk youth. Generally speaking, the proportion of service users who were considered to be at risk was lower than for the school-based services discussed above. This is not surprising considering that a far lower proportion of at-risk young people participate in tertiary education, as illustrated in Figure 5.

The main source of tertiary funding used by at-risk youth was Youth Guarantee: Fees Free, which is targeted at young people with very low previous qualification achievement. Almost nine thousand at-risk young people had accessed this funding, around a fifth of all at-risk youth. Overall, 40 percent of youth who had accessed Youth Guarantee: Fees Free had two or more risk indicators at age 15, compared to 17 and 18 percent of youth who had accessed a Student Allowance or the Gateway Service respectively. Only 14 percent of Industry Trainees had two or more risk indicators at age 15, reflecting the low proportion of these young people who were in employment.

Figure 11: Use of employment services by at-risk 15 to 19-year-olds in the five years to 2015

Figure 11: Use of employment services by at-risk 15 to 19-year-olds in the five years to 2015   .

Use of employment services by at-risk youth

Figure 12 shows the extent to which at-risk youth aged 15 to 19 received ‘Youth Service: Youth Payment or Young Parent Payment’ (YP/YPP) or ‘Youth Service: NEET or Youth Transition service (YSNEET/YTS)’. These are mentoring services for young people, and are aimed at supporting people to stay in education, and ultimately, to move into employment. Young people receiving YP/YPP are paid a benefit, while YSNEET/YTS participants are either NEET or considered at risk of becoming NEET, but do not receive income support. Participation in Youth Service is compulsory for recipients of YP or YPP, but YS: NEET and YTS are voluntary services.

As with the education services discussed above, service users are much more likely to have two or more risk indicators than would be expected in the general population (53 percent for YP/YPP and 36 percent for YSNEET/YTS). Overall, almost a quarter of 15 to 19-year-olds with two or more risk factors had accessed YSNEET/YTS in the past five years, while 14 percent had accessed YP/YPP.

Figure 12: Use of employment services by at-risk 20 to 24-year-olds on benefit in the five years to 2015

Figure 12: Use of employment services by at-risk 20 to 24-year-olds on benefit in the five years to 2015   .

Figure 13 shows the extent of service use by at-risk 20 to 24-year-olds on benefit. As these services are generally only available to young people receiving a benefit, the analysis is restricted to the population of young people who received a benefit in 2015. While 15 percent of all 20 to 24-year-olds had 2 or more risk indicators at age 15, this was much higher (34 percent) amongst those 20 to 24-year-olds who received a benefit in 2015.

Generally speaking the proportion of 20 to 24 year old beneficiaries accessing employment services who were at risk was in line with the proportion of all beneficiaries who were at risk. Thirty-four percent of beneficiaries who had accessed Placement services or Wage subsidies in the previous five years were considered to be at-risk at age 15, while higher proportions of beneficiaries who had accessed Skills training or Information services were at-risk (42 and 37 percent respectively).

Figure 13: Use of employment services by at-risk 20 to 24-year-olds on benefit in the five years to 2015

Figure 13: Use of employment services by at-risk 20 to 24-year-olds on benefit in the five years to 2015.

Notes

  • [14] By comparison, 14 percent of all youth aged 15-19 had two or more risk indicators at age 15.
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