Chapter 3: School leaver destinations
- 94.4 per cent of 2017/18 leavers were in a positive initial destination (93.7 per cent for 2016/17).
- 41.1 per cent of leavers were in Higher Education (the highest proportion of all categories).
3.1 Skills Development Scotland school leaver destinations data
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 destinations include school leavers who are unemployed and individuals where their destination is not known. For full definitions of leaver destinations please see background note 7.3.2.
School leavers who engage in Personal Skills Development (PSD) are placed in a category based on details of the activity they are undertaking. Where they do not readily fit into any other category they are counted as unemployed seeking. We are currently engaging with key stakeholders regarding the classification of Personal Skills Development school leavers, for more information please see background note 7.3.3.
3.2 School leaver destinations
Table 1 shows that 94.4 per cent of all 2017/18 school leavers were in a positive initial destination, this was higher than the proportion in 2016/17 (93.7 per cent).
Table 1 also shows that, three months after leaving school, 67.7 per cent of the 2017/18 leavers were in Higher or Further Education, slightly higher than that for 2016/17 leavers (67.5 per cent). The proportion in employment has slightly increased to 22.7 per cent in 2017/18 compared to 22.0 per cent for 2016/17 leavers, while the percentage unemployed has slightly decreased from 5.9 per cent for 2016/17 to 5.2 per cent for 2017/18 leavers.
Table 1: Percentage of school leavers by initial destination category, 2009/10 to 2017/18
Column Percent (percentages may not total 100 due to rounding)
|Unemployed Not Seeking||1.3||1.2||1.3||1.1||1.1||1.1||1.3||1.5||1.3|
|Number of Leavers||53,134||53,394||49,745||51,647||51,416||52,491||52,305||51,300||49,748|
1. In April 2011 the Scottish Government rolled out the use of Activity Agreements.
The initial destinations of 2017/18 school leavers by stage of leaving (chart 2) show:
- the majority of S6 leavers entered Higher Education (60.8 per cent);
- the most common initial destination for S5 leavers was Further Education (39.6 per cent) closely followed by Employment (33.5 per cent);
- the most common destination for S4 leavers was Further Education (49.5 per cent).
Chart 2: Initial destination of leavers by stage of leaving, 2017/18
1. Other positive includes activity agreements, training and voluntary work.
2. Other destination includes unemployed seeking, unemployed not seeking, and unknown.
3.3 School leaver destinations by deprivation
Chart 3 shows that the percentage of school leavers in a positive initial destination has increased in 2017/18 for both leavers from the most deprived areas and the least deprived areas based on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). This has led to a reduction in the deprivation gap from 7.0 percentage points in 2016/17 to 6.8 percentage points in 2017/18.
Table 2 provides a breakdown of initial school leaver destination by SIMD. Amongst other things it shows the extent to which pupils from the most deprived areas continue to be less likely to enter Higher Education than those from less deprived areas. In 2017/18 the most common destination for leavers from the most deprived areas was Further Education at 37.7 per cent. In 2017/18, 9.0 per cent of leavers from the most deprived areas entered into unemployed destinations, compared to 2.6 per cent of leavers from the least deprived areas. A time series of destinations by SIMD is available in the supplementary tables. A list of these tables is available at background note 7.8.
Chart 3. Percentage of school leavers in a positive initial destination, by SIMD1, 2009/10 to 2017/18
pp = percentage point difference between most and least deprived
1. Based on SIMD 2009 for 2009/10 and 2010/11, SIMD 2012 for 2011/12 to 2015/16 and SIMD 2016 for 2016/17 and 2017/18. 2011/12 has been revised as all leavers are now matched by SIMD. More information on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation can be found at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/SIMD.
Table 2: Percentage of school leavers by initial destination category by SIMD1, 2017/18
|Initial Destination||0-20% (Most Deprived)||20-40%||40-60%||60-80%||80-100% (Least Deprived)||Percentage point gap2||All leavers|
|Unemployed Not Seeking||2.1||1.6||1.1||1.0||0.7||-1.4||1.3|
|Number of Leavers||10,551||9,746||9,695||10,017||9,739||49,748|
1. Based on SIMD 2016 for 2017/18. More information on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation can be found at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/SIMD.
2. The percentage point gap measures the difference between the most and least deprived pupils.
3. In April 2011 the Scottish Government rolled out the use of Activity Agreements.
3.4 School leaver destinations by pupil characteristics
Table 3 shows the percentage of leavers who entered a positive initial destination by various characteristics captured by the pupil census. The percentage of 2017/18 leavers in positive initial destinations has increased for nearly all groups compared to 2016/17.
Leavers in 2017/18 with an additional support need (ASN) are less likely to go on to a positive destination, compared to leavers without a recorded ASN (90.4 per cent compared to 96.0 per cent).
Pupils of an Asian ethnic background tend to be more likely to go onto a positive initial destination. Rates for most ethnic groups in a positive destination for 2017/18 have increased compared to 2016/17. However, the proportion of leavers of Asian Pakistani, all other categories and not disclosed/not known, decreased.
Females continue to be more likely to enter a positive destination than males; 95.5 per cent of females and 93.3 per cent of males entered a positive destination. Large urban areas tend to have the lowest proportion of leavers in positive destinations (93.4 per cent), compared to remote rural areas which have the highest (96.6 per cent). Leavers from other urban areas have seen the largest increase between 2016/17 (93.3 per cent) and 2017/18 (94.2 per cent). More information on destinations by pupil characteristics is available in the supplementary tables. A list of these tables is available at background note 7.8.
Table 3: Percentage of school leavers in a positive initial destination, by pupil characteristic, 2012/13 to 2017/18
|White - Scottish||91.7||92.4||93.0||93.2||93.5||94.3|
|White - non-Scottish||91.9||92.6||92.0||93.8||94.6||94.9|
|Mixed or multiple ethnic groups||94.4||91.4||93.4||92.5||94.9||95.5|
|Asian - Indian||89.7||94.8||*||*||*||97.2|
|Asian - Pakistani||93.9||93.5||94.6||93.5||96.5||95.8|
|Asian - Chinese||97.0||96.5||*||*||*||98.0|
|Asian - Other||95.3||95.3||94.3||95.9||96.4||97.0|
|African/ Black/ Caribbean2||94.5||93.7||92.6||93.8||95.3||96.9|
|All other categories3||90.1||93.4||89.4||92.6||93.2||91.7|
|Not Disclosed/Not known||89.3||89.2||92.6||92.3||92.7||91.1|
|Large Urban Areas||90.8||91.5||92.0||92.2||92.9||93.4|
|Other Urban Areas||91.8||92.8||93.1||93.6||93.3||94.2|
|Accessible Small Towns||92.7||93.4||93.8||93.9||94.3||94.6|
|Remote Small Towns||93.3||92.9||94.0||94.1||94.4||94.7|
|Additional Support Needs4|
* percentages based on fewer than 5 pupils have been suppressed for disclosure and quality reasons.
1. The categories used to collect ethnicity and national identity in the 2011 pupil census agree with the categories used in the main population census. Some categories have been grouped together due to small numbers. Some categories contain between 100-200 leavers.
2. From 2012/13 to 2017/18 the 'African/ Black/ Caribbean' category include 'African', 'African - Other', and the 'Caribbean or Black' categories.
3. From 2012/13 to 2017/18, 'All other categories' includes 'Other - other' and 'Other - Arab'.
4. Pupils who have a CSP, IEP, Child's Plan are assessed or declared disabled or have another need.