Councils to be scored on school dropout rates
Local councils in England are to be scored annually on how well they tackle the dropout rate among teenagers from schools and colleges.
The new at-a-glance scorecards rate their efforts at cutting the number of 16- to 19-year-olds not in education, employment or training (Neet).
The Department for Education says the 16-to-24 Neet rate is at its lowest level in a decade.
Youngsters must now stay in education, employment or training until age 18.
Skills Minister Nick Boles said: "With recent figures showing record lows in the number of young people not in education, employment or training, it is clear that our economic plan is working.
"But we know there is more to do, and the annual Neet scorecards will prove a highly effective tool in delivering our commitment to helping young people reach their potential."
The cards will rate councils' performance in a number of areas on top of the Neet rates.
These include the percentage of each age group offered a place in education and how well councils are tracking the occupation of teenagers who are not in school.
The scorecards, which have been tested for all local authorities over the past six months, will be published every summer.
Councillor Nick Forbes, vice chair of the Local Government Association's Children and Young People Board, said: "NEET scorecards need to be broken down by government-commissioned schemes rather than by council area, if we are to see a true picture of performance.
"Whilst councils have reduced 16-18-year-old disengagement over the last 15 years to 7.1%, they have had their powers to carry out vital services such as careers advice, national engagement programmes and further education steadily removed, meaning that many will not necessarily be running their local area's employment scheme.
"In a recent LGA survey, four-fifths of councils said that greater devolution would enable them to further reduce youth disengagement and nine in ten felt they could deliver better value for money if resources went directly to local areas."