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UK schools research

The Trendence Annual Schools Study is the biggest national study of school students’ career aspirations and their perceptions of employer brands. The 2018/19 survey collected a total of 19,102 responses from students in year 7 through to year 13 at over 2,000 schools across the UK. The Schools Study focuses on when and why students make career decisions such as whether to go to university or choose a work-based route (eg an apprenticeship), and provides insight into the following research areas:

The UK schools market

Find out how your organisation compares to competitors in terms of its attractiveness to students, separated by factors such as geographical region, subject of study, sector of interest, work experience and so forth. Learn how your popularity has changed over time by tapping into multiple years of Trendence research.

  • Awareness and attractiveness of your employer brand
  • Year-on-year trends
  • Competitor landscape
  • Performance by year group and type of student

Your student attraction

Discover how efficient you have been in encouraging students to apply for your opportunities. In which regions are your efforts paying off, and where could you be investing more or less to get the best possible results?

  • Why are students choosing you?
  • Significant influencers and motivations
  • How you can increase your attractiveness to school students


See how effective your recruitment campaigns have been across different websites, publications and other media. We track everything from digital engagement (eg students’ preferred social media channels for engaging with employers) to on-campus events such as career fairs, one-to-one meetings, networking dinners and guest speakers.

  • Platform-by-platform cost benefit analysis
  • Penetration power of your collateral
  • Is your presence on certain platforms drowned out by the competition?


Learn how successful you are in attracting students from different demographics and whether you have improved over the years. For example, find out if you’re losing students from a particular ethnic background or school type, and which gender rates you most positively for different factors. This year we’ve introduced new metrics – sexuality and disability – increasing the depth of insight that we can provide.

  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Social mobility
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability

Regional strategy

Understand how you can adapt your strategy to focus on students at schools in a particular part of the UK. See the survey results for the above factors separated by geographical region so that you can effectively target students in regions of interest.

  • Student mobility information
  • Strategic ROI assessment, region by region
  • Key regional recommendations


Every project is kicked off with a consultation with our MRS-qualified experts to help us understand your priorities, any issues you are facing, new developments planned and specific questions you would like the research to address. This is then followed by a two-hour face-to-face results delivery.

  • Bespoke research report tailored to your organisation
  • Results workshop sharing with you the full analysis and highlighting key findings
  • Year-round support, which could include further desk research, use of DofE data and our expert market knowledge