Chapter 2: Leaver destinations
- 92.9 per cent of 2016/17 leavers were in a positive follow-up destination in March 2018 (91.4 per cent for 2015/16).
- 38.3 per cent of leavers were in Higher Education (the highest proportion of all categories).
- Almost two thirds of 2016/17 leavers left at the end of S6 .
2.1 Skills Development Scotland leaver destinations data
Information is collected on the destination of school leavers in the September after they leave school (initial destination) and again the following March (follow-up destination). 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.
Almost two thirds (62.5 per cent) of 2016/17 school leavers left at the end of S6, a quarter (25.8 per cent) left at the end of S5, and 11.6 per cent left at the end of S4. Around 0.1 per cent left in S3 or another stage. Table 1 show leavers by stage for 2016/17 school leavers.
Table 1: Number and percentage of leavers 1 by stage of leaving, 2016/17
|Stage of leaving||S6||S5||S4||S3||Other|
1. 2016/17 leavers with a recorded initial destination.
Table 2 shows that the percentage of all 2016/17 school leavers in a positive follow-up destination was 92.9 per cent, this was higher than the proportion in 2015/16 (91.4 per cent) and lower than the percentage of 2016/17 school leavers in a positive initial destination (93.7 per cent).
Table 2 also shows that in March 2018, 61.3 per cent of the 2016/17 leavers were in Higher or Further Education, higher than that for 2015/16 leavers (59.7 per cent). The proportion in employment has remained broadly stable, 28.3 per cent in 2016/17 compared to 28.7 per cent for 2015/16 leavers, while the percentage unemployed has decreased from 7.7 per cent for 2015/16 to 6.3 per cent for 2016/17 leavers.
Table 2: Percentage of school leavers by initial and follow-up destination category, 2012/13 to 2016/17
Column Percent (percentages may not total 100 due to rounding)
|Destination Category||Initial||Follow -up||Initial||Follow -up||Initial||Follow -up||Initial||Follow -up||Initial||Follow -up|
|Activity Agreement 1||1.3||0.9||1.0||0.7||0.9||0.7||1.0||0.9||1.2||1.0|
|Unemployed Not Seeking||1.1||1.6||1.1||1.5||1.1||1.6||1.3||1.9||1.5||1.9|
|Number of Leavers||51,647||51,515||51,416||51,293||52,491||52,337||52,305||52,113||51,300||51,172|
1. In April 2011 the Scottish Government rolled out the use of Activity Agreements.
Chart 1: Follow-up destinations 2016/17
Looking at the follow-up destinations of 2016/17 school leavers by stage of leaving, it is clear that the majority of leavers who enter Higher Education have remained at school until S6. Chart 2 also shows:
- for S5 leavers, the most common follow-up destination was employment (39.9 per cent) closely followed by Further Education (33.4 per cent);
- for S4 leavers, the most common destination was Further Education (39.9 per cent of S4 leavers); S4 leavers account for a fifth of all the leavers in Further Education.
Chart 2: Follow-up destination of leavers by stage of leaving, 2016/17
1. Other positive includes activity agreements, training and voluntary work.
2. Other destination includes unemployed seeking, unemployed not seeking, and unknown.
2.2 School leaver destinations by pupil characteristics
Table 3 shows the positive follow-up leaver destinations for pupils by various characteristics taken from the pupil census. The percentage of leavers in positive follow-up destinations has increased for virtually all groups compared to 2015/16. The table shows the extent to which pupils from areas of high deprivation continue to be less likely to enter positive destinations. The proportion of leavers from the most deprived areas going onto a positive destination has increased from 85.0 per cent in 2015/16 to 87.6 in 2016/17. Leavers with an additional support need ( ASN) are also less likely to go onto a positive destination, compared to leavers without a recorded ASN (87.1 per cent compared to 94.9 per cent).
Pupils of an Asian ethnic background tend to be more likely to go onto a positive follow-up destination. Rates for all groups have increased, apart from the proportion of leavers of Mixed or Multiple Ethnic background in a positive follow-up destination which has decreased.
Girls also continue to be more likely to enter a positive destination than boys; 93.8 per cent of girls and 92.1 per cent of boys enter a positive destination. Leavers from large and other urban areas tend to have the lowest proportion in positive destinations (92.2 per cent), compared to remote rural areas which have the highest (96.0 per cent). Leavers from remote rural areas have also seen the largest increase between 2015/16 (93.0 per cent) and 2016/17 (96.0 per cent). More information on destinations by pupil characteristics is available in the supplementary tables. A list of the tables is available at background note 7.5.
Table 3: Percentage of school leavers in a positive follow-up destination, by pupil characteristic, 2012/13 to 2016/17
|White - Scottish||90.3||91.5||91.9||91.3||92.7|
|White - non-Scottish||92.1||92.8||92.1||92.5||93.8|
|Mixed or multiple ethnic groups||92.0||93.6||92.8||92.7||92.4|
|Asian - Indian||91.2||96.6||96.3||96.9||*|
|Asian - Pakistani||92.4||93.2||95.2||92.5||95.6|
|Asian - Chinese||98.8||98.8||97.1||95.9||*|
|Asian - Other||95.7||97.0||96.2||95.1||95.3|
|African/ Black/ Caribbean 2||91.9||96.0||94.4||92.3||93.7|
|All other categories 3||92.1||91.9||91.2||87.9||94.0|
|Not Disclosed/Not known||88.1||88.5||90.1||88.8||90.7|
|Large Urban Areas||89.0||90.6||91.5||90.0||92.2|
|Other Urban Areas||90.4||91.4||91.6||91.4||92.2|
|Accessible Small Towns||92.1||93.1||93.4||93.4||93.1|
|Remote Small Towns||93.1||93.1||93.2||92.8||94.1|
|0-20% (Most Deprived)||83.0||85.0||86.3||85.0||87.6|
|80-100% (Least Deprived)||95.9||96.8||96.3||96.2||96.4|
|Percentage point gap||12.9||11.8||10.0||11.2||8.7|
|Additional Support Needs 5|
1. The categories used to collect ethnicity and national
identity in the 2011 pupil census to agree with the categories used
in the main population census. Some categories have been grouped
together due to small numbers. Some categories contain between
2. From 2012/13 to 2016/17 the 'African/ Black/ Caribbean' category include 'African', 'African - Other', and the 'Caribbean or Black' categories.
3. From 2012/13 to 2016/17, 'All other categories' includes 'Other - other' and 'Other - Arab'.
4. Based on SIMD 2012 for 2012/13 to 2015/16 and SIMD 2016 for 2016/17. More information on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation can be found at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/SIMD.
5. Pupils who have a CSP, IEP, Child's Plan are assessed or declared disabled or have another need.