Sector 'P'



This article is one of a series that considers the employment and economic value of various sectors of the Lancashire economy. Please see the sector profiles introduction page for details of where we derive the employment and gross value added results, plus how we identify various organisations in Lancashire as belonging to particular sectors. 

The education sector includes education both public and private, via a wide range of formats and media.  It incorporates pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher education, tertiary education, degree, and post graduate education. It also encompasses adult education, literacy programmes, military academies, and prison schools etc. Child day care activities, including day nurseries are not contained within education but classified under section 'Q' human health and social work activities.

The sector covers the standard industrial classifications 85.10 to 85.60. 

The economic value of education

Gross Value Added (GVA) is generally regarded as the best measure of the sum of economic activity within an area. Local estimates of gross value added (GVA) are published by the Office for National Statistics that are split by various industrial sectors. The estimates of GVA for 2014 reveal that education accounted for £2,113 million which represented 7.6% of the total GVA figure for the Lancashire 14-authority area.


The education sector has a sizable representation in Lancashire and employment results reveal an increase from 55,500 to 59,300 between 2009 and 2014. In 2014, full-time employees accounted for 57.5% of all employees and the remaining 42.5% part-time.

Table 1 Education employees, Lancashire-14 area, 2014

Year Full-time employees

Part-time employees

All employees
All employees and working owners
  No % No % No % No
2014 34,100 57.5% 25,200 42.5% 59,300 100% 59,300

Source ONS – Business Register and Employment Survey 

Figure 1 Education employment by district, 2014


Source ONS – Business Register and Employment Survey

Lancaster had over 10,200 people employed in the sector, which was substantially more than any other Lancashire authority.  Lancaster contains the University of Lancaster, on the outskirts of the historic city. It is also the location of a major campus of the University of Cumbria, and is home to Lancaster and Morecambe College.

At first glance, it is perhaps somewhat surprising to find Blackburn with Darwen in second place with 6,900 in employment in this sector. The authority does however have the largest population in the Lancashire-14 area which naturally impacts on school places. In addition, Blackburn town centre is home to a large college that contains a university centre validated by Lancaster University.  Other sites in the town that have a presence that goes beyond the authority boundary include St. Mary's College, with a sixth form and university centre, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, and the fee-paying Westholme School. According to the Department for Education yearly school workforce statistics, Witton Park Academy in Blackburn had the highest workforce figure among the academies, free, special and local authority maintained schools in Lancashire

Based in the heart of Preston, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is one of the largest universities in the UK and its expansion has made an enormous contribution towards the regeneration of the urban centre.  The town is also home to Cardinal Newman College and Preston College.  

Blackpool and the Fylde College includes a specialist nautical campus in Fleetwood.

Ormskirk in West Lancashire is the main home for Edge Hill University which achieved university status in 2006, whilst Burnley College incorporates an auxiliary hub of the University of Central Lancashire.  Other further education sites in Lancashire include Accrington and Rossendale, a centre of excellence for land-based courses such as agriculture and horticulture at Myerscough College, Runshaw College and Nelson and Colne College.

The county has a number of highly-regarded private independent schools e.g. Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley, Kirkham Grammar School,  Arnold KEQMS has campuses in Blackpool and Lytham, whilst Scarisbrick Hall School is in West Lancashire.

Lancashire Outdoor Education is a major provider of outdoor and residential facilities, including Borwick Hall, Hothersall Lodge, Tower Wood and Whitehough. Visitors include schools, colleges, teachers, youth and community groups etc.

In the private sector Ascentis is a Lancaster firm that offers qualification and assessment products.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency 

The Higher Education Statistics Agency website has staff numbers by institution, therefore employee figures can be obtained for establishments that have a presence in Lancashire. Unfortunately, it is not possible to distinguish which employees are located in Lancashire and which are outside the county. The University of Cumbria staff who work at the large campus in central Lancaster cannot be identified separately and other institutions such as Edge Hill have important locations outside Lancashire.

Page updated October 2015