1.1. This publication presents data on initial destinations of leavers from local authority and grant aided schools in Scotland. Data is only presented on pupils leaving during the senior phase (S4-S6) and does not include pupils attending special schools.
1.2. Information on the initial destinations of school leavers is provided from the Opportunities for All shared dataset managed by Skills Development Scotland ( SDS). The initial destinations data presented in this publication provides information on the outcomes for young people as recorded in October 2016, approximately three months after leaving school.
1.3. Initial destinations data from SDS is matched to the Scottish Government's ( SG) pupil census in order to identify the cohort of senior phase school leavers from local authority or grant aided secondary schools. A pupil is counted as a school leaver if they have a leaver record in SDS's data, a pupil census record for the same academic year, and no pupil census record in the following academic year.
1.4. The cohorts of school leavers presented in this publication are consistent with the data presented in the education benchmarking tool 'Insight' and the Education Scotland 'Parentzone' website. These cohorts differ from the former SDS publication "Initial School Leaver Destinations" which included all leavers from publicly funded secondary schools and was published for the final time in December 2015. For more information on the cohort definition and how this differs from the SDS cohort please see background note 5.2.
1.5. For the purposes of this publication school leavers who are engaged in higher education, further education, training, voluntary work, employment or activity agreements are classified as having a 'positive destination'. Other initial destinations include school leavers who are unemployed not seeking employment or training, unemployed seeking employment or training, and individuals where their initial destination is not known. For full definitions of leaver destinations please see background note 5.3.
1.6. This bulletin includes data on 52,249 senior phase school leavers from local authority and grant aided secondary schools in 2015/16.