School leavers in ‘positive destinations’ at 93.5%

Jenny Gilruth

The proportion of 2021-22 school leavers in Scotland in a “positive destination” nine months after the end of the school year was at its highest level since comparable data was first gathered in 2009-10.

That’s according to Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

Among 2021-22 leavers, 93.5% were in a “positive follow-up destination” — including higher education, further education, employment, training, personal skills development and voluntary work — up from 93.2% of 2020-21 leavers.

Of 2021-22 leavers, 31.8 % were in employment, the highest proportion since comparable data was first gathered in 2009-10.

Higher education remains the most popular destination — although this saw a drop from 40.3% for 2020-21 leavers to 37.7% for 2021-22 leavers.

While the proportion of leavers in further education increased from 18.3% for 2020-21 leavers to 20.7% for 2021-22 leavers, this is the second lowest proportion since 2009-10.

S6 leavers in 2021-22 were the most likely to be in a “positive follow-up destination” at 96% and S4 leavers were the least likely at 86.9%. For S5 leavers the figure was 90.9%.

The Scottish Government’s Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth said: “I am greatly encouraged to see we have a record number of young people in work, training or further study less than a year after leaving school.

“These figures are testament to the hard work of learners across the country.

“We know the pandemic had a significant impact on our education system, but Scotland’s teachers and support staff are clearly preparing young learners for the next stage in life very well, whether that be work or further study.

“This Government has prioritised tackling the gap in achievement between the most and least deprived areas, so I am heartened to see this gap continuing to close.

“As we start to embark on a programme of education reform in the months ahead, it is clear that we will be building on a very strong platform.”