School leaver attainment and destinations

Published: 19 Jun 2018 09:30

National and Official Statistics Publications for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published ‘Summary statistics for attainment, leaver destinations and healthy living No.8: 2018 Edition’ and ‘Educational Outcomes for Scotland’s Looked After Children 2016-17’[1].

Summary statistics for attainment, leaver destinations and healthy living (National Statistics) results show that 92.9% of 2016-17 school leavers were in a positive destination in March 2018; the highest rate since 2009/10.  Compared to the previous school leaver cohort (2015/16) there was an increase in the proportion of leavers in Higher Education, from 37.3% to 38.3%, and in Further Education, from 22.4% to 23.0%.

The proportion of 2016/17 school leavers with one or more pass at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 4 or above was 96.3% (the same as for 2015/16); attainment at SCQF Level 5 or above has increased slightly (from 85.6% to 86.1%) whereas attainment at SCQF Level 6 or above had decreased slightly (from 61.7% to 61.2%).

The percentage of pupils on survey day who took a school meal (free or paid for) decreased from 56.9.% (360,825 pupils) in 2017 to 55.0% in 2018 (348,728 pupils).

The proportion of all schools meeting the Physical Education (PE) target of at least two hours in primary and two periods (100 minutes) at secondary school increased from 98% in 2017 to 99% in 2018. The proportion of primary schools meeting the target remained the same as in 2017 (99%) and the proportion of secondary schools meeting the target increased from 93% in 2017 to 94% in 2018.

Education outcomes for Scotland’s looked after children (Official Statistics) results show that looked after school leavers continue to have lower attainment than other school leavers, but the proportions achieving all levels of qualification have improved since 2009/10. While looked after school leavers are also less likely to go into positive destinations than other school leavers, the gap has narrowed since 2009/10.

The attendance rate of looked after school children remains lower than for other school pupils. The rate of exclusions is falling steadily among looked after children, although it remains much higher than in the general school population.

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


These statistics are sourced from ‘Summary statistics for attainment, leaver destinations and healthy living No.8: 2018 Edition’ and ‘Educational Outcomes for Scotland’s Looked After Children 2016/17’.

Both publications use the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) post-review results and school leaver destination data supplied by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) from the Opportunities for All shared dataset.

Information on the PE target and school meals is from the latest Healthy Living Survey conducted in February 2018. This information is collected at school level.

Experimental statistics on the achievement of Curriculum for Excellence levels for looked after children is also available in the Educational Outcomes for Scotland’s Looked After Children 2016/17 publication.

Further school statistics are available within the School Education section of the Scottish Government website.

Further information on Children and Families statistics within Scotland is available on the Scottish Government website.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff in line with the standards of official statistics in Scotland.

[1] Educational Outcomes for Scotland’s Looked After Children 2016-17 is an Official Statistics publication