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Record number of school leavers moving into work, study or training

A total of 93.2% of pupils in 2017-18 were in ‘positive destinations’ nine months on from leaving school.

Pupils celebrating exam results (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Pupils celebrating exam results (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The rate of young people working, studying or training nine months after leaving school has hit its highest recorded level.

Official statistics show 93.2% of pupils were in “positive destinations”, while 5.5% were unemployed.

The largest proportion were in higher education at 39%, while 28.3% were employed, 22.7% were in further education and 1.7% were in training.

The figures for 2017-18 – based on a snapshot in March – show a marginal increase among those in higher education from 38.3% the previous year, with falls in further education and unemployment from 23% and 6.3%.

The gap between people from the most and least deprived areas in positive destinations nine months on from leaving school narrowed slightly from 8.8 percentage points in 2016-17 to 8.6 in 2017-18 – its lowest level on record.

For children in care, this rate is 76%, continuing five years of improvement.

But a Scottish Government report warned “large gaps” still exist when this group is compared to all pupils.

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John Swinney hailed the figures but said there is still much to be done (Jane Barlow/PA)

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “More young Scots are studying, training or working within nine months of leaving school than ever before.

“Importantly, that also includes more young Scots from the most deprived communities, with the gap closing significantly over the last decade.

“I am also particularly pleased to see the proportion of looked-after children entering further and higher education at a record high – this is real progress and shows the action we are taking to close the poverty related attainment gap in Scotland is working.

“While the figures published today are extremely encouraging, we know that there is more to do to ensure that all our young people have the opportunity to fulfil their full potential in life and succeed – regardless of their background.”

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