95% of school leavers in positive destinations

Deprivation gap in positive destinations continues to close.

A record proportion of school leavers were in a ‘positive destination’ such as study, work or training about three months after leaving school last year.

Figures show that 95% of young people were in a positive destination, with the gap between those from the most and least deprived communities achieving a positive destination the lowest since 2009-10.

The statistics also show that:

  • more than 85% of school leavers achieve at least one pass at SCQF 5 or better. In 2006-07 the proportion was 71.1%
  • the proportion of school leavers with one or more pass at SCQF 6 or better is 60.5%. In 2006-07 the proportion was 41.6%
  • the proportion of school leavers achieving vocational awards has increased to 17%, giving them skills they need for entering the workplace. The achievement of these awards has increased for school leavers every year since 2013-14

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“For the ninth consecutive year, more young Scots are in study, training or work three months after leaving school than ever before. Moreover, the gap between the richest and poorest communities for those moving into a positive destination continues to narrow.

“This demonstrates that Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is delivering one of the ultimate aims of school education - to secure a positive next step in learning, life and work for our young people.

“Compared with the previous year, there has been a slight fall in attainment for school leavers who achieved one or more national qualifications. In any high performing system there will be fluctuation, however over time the percentage of school leavers achieving one or more pass at National 5 and Higher level has improved substantially.

“We have commissioned the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to carry out an independent review of the curriculum. The review will look carefully at achievement in the senior phase so that we can improve further.”

Alma Harris, a member of the International Council of Education Advisers (ICEA), said at the ICEA biannual meeting last week:

“The Scottish system is doing everything that we would expect a high performing system to do. It has all the right components, it’s investing in the right places. What we are seeing is incremental growth. And, as a council, we’re very confident that that incremental growth bodes well for the future.

“The focus on equity and excellence is, without question, the right focus. The way in which the system has been empowered, to develop itself into a high performing system, is also to be commended.”


The official statistics can be found here.


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