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Destination Data and Management

Schools should be sharing accurate and timely data with the local authority on pupil transitions and destinations.  Gatsby recommends that schools collect and maintain accurate data for each pupil on their destinations for 3 years after they leave year 11.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly are undergoing a pilot project with the local colleges and a few identified schools on a Destinations Data Sharing Agreement (DSA). The agreement sets out a plan to collect and share data between institutions at key times.



Benefits to the college:

  • Students are better prepared by the school to apply for college online.
  • Through the DSA principles, online applications will be received earlier in the academic year to enable processing of the application and for arranging interviews.
  • The college has timely information about new students applying to their institution; specifically, students requiring additional support identified through an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) and/or additional exam requirements.
  • Improved and identified support to meet the individual needs of each student.

Benefits to the school

  • Students are regularly monitored in Year 10 and Year 11 about their destination choices enabling the school to identify and support individual needs of their students.
  • Students are better prepared for transitions into further and higher education.
  • The school receives three years enrolment and progression data from the college for students after leaving school.
  • Improved and identified support to meet the individual needs of each student.


There are further supporting documents below including the example spreadsheet that all schools with Compass+ can download from the platform.

Top 5 Recommendations

  1. Download the ‘pupil intended destinations’ report from Compass +  (*see the screen shot below that shows where to find the report on Compass+. **students who have had the consent button ticked in the report will show in the download)
  2. Convert into a live Google document so that staff across the whole school can gather intended destinations
  3. Gather destinations in Y10 and Y11 (do at the same time each year)
  4. Utilise the information from the reports to identify any individual needs of your students
  5. Input data that is gathered into Compass+.
Why is the Compass tool asking for 3 years of destination data if it is not a statutory requirement from the DfE? Schools do not have capacity to collect this data.


Our Compass tool was developed in partnership with the Gatsby foundation to assess a school’s performance against the Gatsby benchmarks which state for ‘Schools should collect and maintain accurate data for each pupil on their education, training or employment destinations for at least three years after they leave the school.’  The benchmarks set a high standard of career guidance based on international research and best practice. DfE have recognised that this may be difficult for some schools but encourage schools to begin to put processes in place that will help them make better use of destination data.

Is the expectation to collect data for three years after the end of KS4 or for three years after they leave the institution?


The expectation of 3 year destination tracking is from KS4. We would encourage sixth forms / colleges to track from KS5 because we think it would be useful to help reflect on provision and advice given as well as inform future programmes, but it is not an expectation.

Do I need consent from the student to track their destination?


When students enrol at your school or college, as long as there is a clear privacy statement that is advertised on your website and it is made clear to the student/parent upon enrolment, it will enable the school to track student progression information as long as it is for ‘legitimate purposes connected with their enrolment, education and progression as a student’. For the purposes of the DSA on this page it is all that would be required.

For anything above and beyond this information and for other purposes consent should be taken from the students and there are further examples on this page.

Do schools still have a statutory obligation to report intended destinations to their Local Authority?


Schools and colleges must report on the intended destinations of Year 11 and 12 students as part of the September guarantee process. Each LA must ensure that every young person has a secured place in an education or training provider up to the age of 18. Each LA has a different timeline and process for this so please check with your own LA.

What is the best way to achieve/maintain accurate and long-term tracking without investing in an expensive system?


There are a number of ways to collect destination data that are not too labour intensive. You could consider:

  • Put in place data sharing agreements with your local colleges, universities and local authorities to find out if your leavers have enrolled in their institutions.
  • Gather destinations data information using online and live documents such as Google or OneDrive spreadsheets – ask tutors to help you to do this (a whole school approach is the most efficient way to do it)
  • Setting up a group to manage communication with students after they leave. If you are doing this for a single institution, then setting up a LinkedIn group for each cohort who leave may be effective.
  • Utilise results days to get your students to sign up as alumni.
  • Set up an alumni survey process to gather data once students have left your school.
But if we have a DSA with another institution they will use it for marketing purposes.


The level of information within the DSA will help to inform the strategy for any institution. What it will not do is enable any institution to target individual students for marketing purposes.

The Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) provides school and college institutions with a cohesive agreement that can:

• Support students and all key stakeholders to understand all routes available to them (including technical and vocational routes)
• Identify which students require support in making a successful transition, particularly students from Year 11/13
• Provide relevant support and resource to ensure that all students can pursue their best next step.