GIRLS were more likely than boys to be in stable work or education within 12 months of leaving school in Wiltshire last year.

Department for Education statistics show that 87 per cent of female students who finished their 16-18 study in 2016-17 were in education, employment or an apprenticeship the following year, compared to 83 per cent of male school leavers.

Overall, 11 per cent of students in Wiltshire were not in sustained education, employment or an apprenticeship within a year of leaving school, which is lower than national averages but still concerning to education leaders.

In Wiltshire, 47 per cent of girls opted for continuing their education – including university, further education college, and other courses – while 41 per cent of boys chose to study.

The figures also show 34 per cent of girls went into work, compared to 31 per cent of boys. But 11 per cent of boys opted for an apprenticeship, while six per cent of girls chose this kind of training. Across England, 84 per cent of girls, and 79 per cent of boys, were in education, employment or training.

Laura-Jane Rawlings, of Youth Employment UK said: “It is important to give young people a voice on the issues that affect them, and ensure that we are tailoring policy, services and programmes based on their insights and experiences.”

The figures cover pupils from state-funded mainstream schools and colleges, six months after leaving school, and only those in continuous study, work or training for at least six months were included in one of the categories.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said the statistics do not show “a complete picture”, as private students, those who studied abroad or people working in short-term jobs are not included.

She added: "The overall proportion of 16-24-year-olds not in education, employment or training has fallen since 2010.”