The purpose of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is to provide young people with the skills, knowledge and experiences that will prepare them for their life beyond school, and provide them with the best possible opportunity to fulfil their potential. In the Senior Phase curriculum (S4-S6), young people have the opportunity to deepen their learning through different types of qualifications and other learning experiences, such as work placements or volunteering. It supports them in moving on to their next stage, including college, employment, training or university.
In the course of their Senior Phase, young people are able to acquire a range of qualifications and awards over that three year period. There have been no preconceived notions about which qualifications are to be taken at which stage of the Senior Phase; the guiding principle has been that qualifications are taken at the appropriate stage for the individual young person over the three years of the Senior Phase.
The Young People in Scotland Survey collected data from a representative sample of young people aged 11-18 years and was self-completed by young people in classrooms in school. From 16th September 2019 to 26th November 2019, 1,731 young people from 50 publicly funded secondary schools took part. The data was collected by Ipsos MORI and the Scottish Government commissioned questions to be asked on course choice in the Senior Phase, to discover more about the factors that influence young people's decisions. This report summarises their responses. Data was weighted by year groups, gender, urban-rural classification and SIMD classification. Differences highlighted in the report between groups of young people were statistically significant, at the 95% level.
There are no statistically significant differences between young people living in urban or rural areas; the responses are statistically similar. Therefore, analysis of urban/rural data has not been included in this report, however the data tables can be found in the Annex.