Record positive destinations for school leavers

A record proportion of young people from Scotland's most deprived communities are continuing their education, entering training, or getting a job after they leave school.

Official statistics, published today, show 88.7% of school leavers from these communities going on to a positive initial destination – the highest ever proportion and up from 83.9% in 2011/12.

The statistics also reveal that a record 40.3% of all school leavers went directly into higher education after leaving school in 2015/16. That compares to 37.8% in 2011/12.

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The publication – Initial Destinations of Senior Phase School Leavers for 2015/16 – also shows:

A record 93.3% of young people continuing their education, going into training or getting a job - including Modern Apprenticeships - after leaving school;

The percentage entering further education has remained broadly constant over the past five years;

A continued fall in unemployment among school leavers.

Minister for Further and Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: “We want every young person in Scotland to be able to realise their full potential and these statistics show we are making real progress in realising this ambition. Last year, a record proportion of our young people went on to a positive destination after leaving school, whether that is continuing their education, additional training or going into employment.

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“It is especially encouraging to note that the proportion of school leavers in our most deprived areas going on to a positive destination is at a record high. We clearly have a lot more work to do, but the figures demonstrate that the range of actions we are taking to address this issue is beginning to bear fruit.

“I am also pleased to note that the proportion of school leavers going directly into higher education has reached its highest ever level. Again, there is more to do on widening access, but that is why we are taking forward the actions recommended by the Commission on Widening Access, including the appointment of the Fair Access Commissioner who will drive the agenda in this area.

“It is essential that young people leaving school are able to make the most of the available opportunities and can make the choice that is right for them - whether that be university or college, training or a job. Today’s statistics are encouraging but our work on Developing the Young Workforce and our review of the learner journey will increase the help available to our young people as they make their way into the workforce.”