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Technical Note for Scotland Performs Indicators and Targets – National Indicator 10

This page relates to the 2007 version of the National Performance Framework. Information about the current version of the NPF is available on the Scotland Performs Home Page.

Scotland Performs National Indicator 10 - Increase the proportion of school leavers (from Scottish publicly funded schools) in positive and sustained destinations (FE, HE, employment or training)

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School leavers (from Scottish publicly funded schools) in positive and sustained destinations: Further Education ( FE), Higher Education ( HE), employment or training.

Associated Targets

Increase the proportion of school leavers in positive and sustained destinations.

Brief Description

This indicator measures the proportion of school leavers (from Scotland's publicly funded sector) who are in a positive destination approximately 9 months after leaving school.

Strategic Objective(s) to Which Indicator Relates

This indicator informs progress in relation to the following Strategic Objectives:

Wealthier and Fairer - Positive sustained destinations after leaving school increases the chances of longer term successful outcomes in terms of employment and earnings.

Smarter - Sustained positive destinations leads to a more skilled workforce. This is particularly true when the destination is FE, HE, training or employment with an element of training. However it is important to recognise that young people have different starting points and that, for some, these destinations may not be realistic. Moving these individuals to an opportunity suitable to their needs is important.

Safer and Stronger - Sustained positive destinations for more young people leads to increasing opportunities now and in the future, and widening networks which in turn lead to increased positive engagement in the community.

More Detailed Definitions

Definitions of Keywords

The proportion of positive destinations is defined as those school leavers undertaking FE or HE courses or in employment or training in the March / April after leaving school, divided by the population of school leavers. People who are volunteering or on activity agreements will also be included in the positive destination category.

The 'population' is any young person leaving school after the date of the Pupil Census (typically mid September) and before the date of the next Pupil Census - a year later. Christmas leavers (who account for around 10 % of the leaver group), will be counted in the March / April collection 15 months after leaving.

This indicator is based on the school leavers from publicly funded secondary schools. This excludes schools in the independent sector and all special schools. However grant aided schools are included.

Evidence Source

The source of the information is the follow up survey to the current National Statistics 'School Leavers Destination Survey' which takes place in October roughly 3 months after the end of the relevant school year. The follow up will be carried out in the March/April the year after an individual leaves school which is roughly 9 months after the end of the relevant school year. This is a direct measure of the indicator.

The data is collected by Skills Development Scotland and published by the Scottish Government. The first publication of this data was in June 2008 and related to School leavers in the 2006/07 school year. Skills Development Scotland carried out a pilot of this survey in 2007 covering school leavers in 2005/06.

The indicator based on the follow up survey provides a measure of more sustained outcomes after leaving school. Using the 9 month follow up rather than the original October survey allows for the destinations of school leavers to settle.

However, a 9 month follow-up is unlikely itself to capture sustained positive destinations. Therefore our future plan is to develop the measure in order to track destinations longer term i.e. beyond 9 months after leaving school. It is also important to consider the progression of individuals relative to their starting point as well as the destinations. However this data does not currently exist.

Baseline and Past Trends

The first official publication of the follow up survey to School Leavers destinations was in June 2008. This information showed that approximately 87% of school leavers in 2006/07 were in positive destinations in the March/April of 2008. This percentage has now been taken as the baseline from which any increase in the percentage of leavers entering positive and sustained destinations will be measured.

Data on initial destinations - measured in October - after leaving school have been available since the early 1990s. These data show that the proportion of leavers entering positive destinations tends to fluctuate around the 83 to 84 percent point. The results were very stable throughout the 1990's, before they fell from 83% in 2000/01 to 80% in 2002/03. The proportion entering positive destinations then rose to 85% in 2005/06, which was slightly above the historical average.

Methodology for Data Source

Data are based on a simple count of young people and their reporting of their current destination.

Data Ownership and Quality Assurance

The follow up survey which is used to measure the indicator achieved National Statistics status in 2011.

The methodology used to collect the data to measure the indicator is based on that used in the current National Statistics School Leavers Destinations survey.

Publication of Data

Data is published on the Scottish Government website on an annual basis. These data are published at Scotland level in the national statistics publication 'Summary statistics for attainment, leaver destinations and school meals, No. 1: 2011 Edition' and at local authority level in supplementary data sets.

Methodology for Recent Change Arrow on Scotland

This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1 percentage point of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening. Changes resulting from the improved recording of unknown destinations were also taken into account in this evaluation.

Future issues or reviews

In April 2011 the Scottish Government rolled out the use of Activity Agreements to improve the employability of vulnerable and disadvantaged young people. These include elements of training, volunteering, learning in various community settings and other developmental activities. These will be recorded as a separate category in the 2010/11 school leavers destinations, as they do not fit into any of the existing groups, and will be included in positive destinations.

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