Girls more likely to go to university than boys
GIRLS are more likely to go on to university than boys when they leave school, new figures show.
A higher proportion of Catholic than Protestant pupils also continue onto higher education.
The Department of Education has published data on the qualifications and destinations of school leavers for the 2015/16 year.
The statistical bulletin presents an analysis of the GCSE and A-levels and shows how many entered further education, employment or training.
In total, 42.9 per cent of pupils in 2015/16 went on to higher education institutions - up from 42.3 per cent the previous year.
At 50.3 per cent, the proportion of girls continuing to university was higher than that for boys (35.7) .
When religion of pupils was considered, 38.7 per cent of Protestant school leavers took on a degree compared with 45.9 per cent of Catholic young people.
The bulletin also showed that the percentage of pupils achieving at least five GCSEs at grades A*-C increased by 8.5 percentage points from five years ago - from 73.2 in 2010/11 to 81.7 in 2015/16.
At 67.7 per cent, the proportion achieving at least five good GCSEs including English and maths increased by 1.7 percentage points since 2014/15 (66) and by 8.2 percentage points since 2010/11 (59.5).
More people who are eligible for free school meals are also getting at least five Cs, including maths and English. The proportion has increased by 41.3 per cent in 2014/15 to 44.8 per cent in 2015/16.
Overall, 95.8 per cent of leavers were recorded by their school as entering education, employment or training.