More young people in Scotland are reaching “positive destinations” including work, training or further study within three months of leaving school than ever before, new figures reveal.
In 2017/18 94.4% of school leavers entered a positive destination in 2017/18 compared with 87% in 2009/10.
The figures also show the gap between those from the most and least deprived communities achieving a positive destination has halved since 2009/10, increasing in both categories.
Education Secretary John Swinney MSP welcomed the overall improvements, while stating that more work needs to be done to close the gap between the richest and poorest communities. He said:
“These welcome figures show that more young Scots are studying, training or working within three months of leaving school than ever before and the gap between the richest and poorest communities for those getting into one of these positive destinations is now half what it was. That is real progress in tackling an age old problem.
“The figures also show pupils are generally staying at school for longer and gaining more qualifications between fourth and sixth year. I am particularly pleased to see the attainment gap at Higher level or better is at a record low.
“At National 4 and 5 level, however, the attainment gap has remained broadly flat over the last two years, which reflects the distance we know we have to go. It is why we are investing more than £180 million through the Scottish Attainment Challenge in 2019/20 alone.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“The figures are encouraging. Nevertheless, we know there is more to do to raise attainment and ensure all our young people have the very best chance to build the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to succeed – regardless of their background.”