This publication brings together Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) attainment information and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) leaver destination information to present a picture of attainment outcomes and how achievement at school can influence what happens within the first year after leaving school.
Information from SDS was matched to the pupil census and then SQA attainment data. The school and pupil information from this linkage has been used throughout the publication. This enables analysis of attainment and destinations by pupil characteristic, for example. For more information on the matching process, and updates to it, please see background note 7.3.1.
The presentation of school leaver attainment data in this publication takes an outcomes-based approach. Leavers have been classified by identifying the highest SCQF Level at which they achieved one or more passes by the time they leave school. This system includes SQA attainment for courses at SCQF Levels 3 to 7 achieved at any stage throughout schooling (see background note 7.2.1).
This approach aligns with Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and its more flexible approach to learning in terms of the range of qualifications available and when these can be taken. In time this information will help to monitor the effect of these changes on attainment and leaver destinations.
The school leaver destination statistics presented in this publication provide information on the activity of young people in the period immediately after they leave school. Linkage to data on school attainment enhances the usefulness of the statistics and so helps national and local partnership collaborations to improve post-16 transition planning for young people. The school leaver destination statistics presented here are related to the Annual Participation Measure (APM) statistics published by Skills Development Scotland. The APM has been developed to be the key metric for measuring success in relation to the 'Increase the proportion of young people in learning, training and work' indicator in the National Performance Framework. The next Participation Measure report will be published by SDS in August 2017.
This publication also includes information from the annual Healthy Living Survey. The Healthy Living Survey combines the previous School Meals Survey and Physical Education (PE) survey. The Healthy Living Survey data are collected at school level and are presented in Chapters 5 and 6.