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93.2% of school leavers in positive destinations

Deprivation gap at a record low.

A record proportion of young people from the most deprived communities are going on to ‘positive destinations’ after leaving school.

Statistics show that 93.2% of pupils overall who left school last year were in a positive destination, including work, training or further study, nine months later. This is up from 92.2% in the previous year and just below the record of 93.3% set in 2017-18.

The gap between school leavers from the most and least deprived areas achieving positive destinations narrowed to a record low of 7.5 percentage points. This gap has now more than halved since 2009-2010.

The statistics also show that a record 31.5% of young people who left school in 2021 were in employment in April 2022, with 40.3% in higher education and 18.3% in further education.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“All children and young people, regardless of their background, should have the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential, so I’m pleased to see a record proportion of school leavers from the most deprived communities going on to positive destinations.

“The statistics show that overall, the percentage of young people in positive destinations nine months after leaving school is also near a record high. Given the very significant challenges posed by the pandemic, this is particularly impressive.

“There is no doubt that the COVID crisis will have changed the choices made by some young people and the opportunities available to them. Whatever the pathways, seeing so many school leavers achieving positive destinations is a reflection of their resilience and of the hard work of all those who supported them.”

Background

School leaver follow-up destinations.

89% of 2020-21 school leavers from the most deprived areas of Scotland were in a positive destination nine months after the end of the school year. This compares to 96.5% of school leavers from the least deprived areas.

This analysis is based on the 20% most deprived and 20% least deprived areas of Scotland determined using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

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