Scotland

Record high in positive school-leaver destinations

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Image caption A report found 93.2% of pupils had a positive destination in 2017/18.

The proportion of young people who enter work, training or further study within nine months of leaving school is now the highest on record.

Statistics show that just over 93% of pupils had a "positive destination".

There are still large differences for "looked-after" children, despite an improvement in their educational outcomes.

But the government said the gap between pupils from the most and least deprived backgrounds was at its lowest ever.

According to a National Statistics publication for 2017/18, the proportion of looked-after children entering further and higher education is now also at a record high.

The term describes children who may become looked after for a number of reasons including neglect, abuse, complex disabilities or involvement in the youth justice system.

Those found to have the most positive educational outcomes were in foster care with friends or relatives rather than other care settings.

'Gap closing'

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."

A second National Statistics report on education outcomes for looked-after children in 2017/18 found 39% obtained one or more qualifications at National 5 level or better compared to 86% of all pupils.

It also recorded 76% of looked-after children ended up in positive follow-up destinations, compared to 93% of all pupils.

Mr Swinney welcomed the report but acknowledged more work was needed.

He added: "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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