Scottish Government
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School leaver attainment and destinations

Scotland’s Chief Statistician yesterday published ‘Summary statistics for attainment, leaver destinations and healthy living No.7: 2017 Edition’ and ‘Educational Outcomes for Scotland’s Looked After Children 2015-16’[1].

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

School leaver attainment and destinations

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The percentage of school leavers attaining a qualification at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 6 or 7 (Higher or above) has increased each year, from 55.7% for 2012-13 school leavers to 61.7% for 2015-16. The percentage of school leavers from more deprived areas attaining a qualification at SCQF level 6 or better has also increased over this period, reaching 42.7% for 2015-16 school leavers. The percentage of pupils leaving with no qualifications at SCQF level 3 or above remains low, and was similar for 2015-16 leavers at 2.0% compared to 2.1% in 2014-15.

The results show that 91.4% of 2015-16 school leavers were in a positive destination in March 2017, down from 92.0% of 2014-15 school leavers in March 2016.

Looked after school leavers continue to have lower levels of attainment and there are lower proportions in positive post-school destinations than school leavers generally, but this gap has narrowed since 2009-10. There has been a notable increase this year in the proportion of looked after leavers achieving passes at SCQF levels 4-6.

From January 2015 eligibility to free school meals was extended to all pupils in primary 1 to 3. The percentage of pupils on survey day who took a school meal (free or paid for) decreased from 58.1% (365,918 pupils) in 2016 to 56.9% in 2016 (360,825 pupils).

The proportion of all schools meeting the Physical Education (PE) target of at least two hours in primary and two periods (100 minutes) at secondary school was the same as in February 2016 (98%). The proportion of primary schools meeting the target remained the same as in 2016 (99%) and the proportion of secondary schools meeting the target decreased from 95% in 2016 to 93% in 2017.

The figures released yesterday were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


These statistics are sourced from ‘Summary statistics for attainment, leaver destinations and healthy living No.7: 2017 Edition’ and ‘Educational Outcomes for Scotland’s Looked After Children 2015/16’. Both publications use the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) post-review results and leaver destination data from Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) School Leaver Destination Survey. Leavers are contacted in the October after they leave school (initial) and again the following March (follow-up). The figures in this news release refer to the follow-up information.

Information on the PE target and school meals is from the latest Healthy Living Survey conducted in February 2017. This information is collected at school level.

Current leavers will have taken a range of qualifications, most will have taken the new National qualifications introduced in the 2013-14 academic year. Only 2013-14 S4 leavers, 2014-15 S4 and S5 leavers and 2015-16 S5 and S6 leavers may have experienced CfE throughout their whole school education.

Further school statistics are available within the School Education section of the Scottish Government website.

Further information on Children and Families statistics within Scotland is available on the Scottish Government website.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff in line with the standards of official statistics in Scotland.

[1] Educational Outcomes for Scotland’s Looked After Children 201/16 is an Official Statistics publication


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