Chapter 2: School Leaver Cohort
- 61.2 per cent of the 2018/19 school leaver cohort were S6 leavers.
An estimated 49,760 pupils left school in 2018/19, similar to the 49,748 pupils who left in 2017/18. The school leaver cohort tended to be larger between 2009/10 and 2016/17, generally fluctuating between around 51,000 and 53,000. The exception to this was 2011/12 (49,745 pupils).
Chart 1 shows the percentage of school leavers by stage, between 2009/10 and 2018/19.
Over three-fifths (61.2 per cent) of 2018/19 school leavers left in S6, down from 62.7 per cent in 2017/18.
Around a quarter (26.8 per cent) of 2018/19 school leavers left in S5, and 11.9% left in S4. Around 0.1 per cent left in S3 or another stage in 2018/19.
Looking over a longer time period, the proportion of pupils leaving in S6 increased between 2009/10 and 2014/15, whilst there was a corresponding decrease in the proportions leaving in S4 and S5. Since 2014/15, the figures have been more stable, although there has been a gradual decline in the proportion leaving in S6, and small increases in S4 and S5.
Chart 1: Percentage of leavers by stage of leaving, 2009/10 to 2018/19