A growing proportion of further education students are staying on courses and passing exams, new figures show.
Retention rates in further education and sixth-form colleges have risen slightly from 1996-97 to 1998-99 and now stand at 80 per cent for most courses.
Achievement rates improved over the period for most age groups and levels of qualification. Further education colleges recruiting a high proportion of their students from disadvantaged areas made significant advances in achievement rates for most courses. But 1998-99 retention rates in this category generally dropped to the lowest level for the three years.