Rise in numbers of school leavers going to positive destinations

Written by Tom Freeman on 8 March 2017 in News

Record proportion of school leavers going to university, figures reveal

Students - PA

The rate of school leavers going on to further or higher education or into the workplace has risen to 93.3 per cent, according to the latest Scottish Government figures.

The figure for last year is the highest recorded, and includes the highest proportion going onto higher education at 40.3 per cent.

The figures relate only to those leaving state education and grant-aided schools.


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Among Scotland’s most deprived communities, 88.7 per cent of school leavers went onto what ministers call ‘positive destinations’.

Minister for Further and Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: “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.”

The University and College Union said the figures on higher education showed an inconsistency between geographical areas.

Scotland official Mary Senior said: “Widening access to universities, to enable everyone who has the ability to learn to participate, is a key priority in Scotland, so it is very welcome to see an increasing number of school pupils going into higher education.

 “Today’s report does however reveal geographical disparity across Scotland, with 66 per cent of school leavers in East Renfrewshire moving into higher education, but only 25 per cent of Clackmannanshire local authority school leavers going on to study at university.  

 “This gap underlines the extent of the challenge to close the opportunity gap.”

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