Increasing attainment

Continued rise in school leavers attaining a Higher-level qualification.

The continued increase of school leavers attaining a qualification at Higher level or above has been welcomed by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

Statistics released today show the proportion of school leavers attaining a qualification at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 6 or 7 (Higher or above) has risen from 55.7% for 2012-13 school leavers to 61.7% for 2015-16.

Figures also published today, show the proportion of looked-after leavers with one or more qualification at SCQF level 5 or better has more than doubled from 15% to 40% since 2009-10 – evidence that the attainment gap is narrowing for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable young people.

The Deputy First Minister said:

“It is encouraging to see the number of young people attaining qualifications at higher level or above increasing – and I am particularly pleased to see a notable improvement in the proportion of young people who are looked-after and care-experienced gaining a qualification.

“While this is a step in the right direction, there is still more to do to close the gap between our most and least vulnerable children and raise attainment for all. That is what the reforms I announced last week are designed to do. By giving more power to schools, including more direct control over budgets, we will empower schools to target resources where they are needed the most to improve the life chances of all of our children and young people.”


The full statistical news releases can be found here:

The Summary Statistics for Attainment, Destinations and Healthy Living No7: 2017 Edition:

The Official Statistics publication ‘Educational Outcomes for Scotland’s Looked After Children 2015/16’ is available at:


Media enquiries

Back to top