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A new approach to the publication of school leaver destination statistics has been developed by Scottish Government in partnership with Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

The changes aim to streamline and reduce the number of school leaver destination publications and statistics, making figures more accessible and easier to understand.

Currently, there are multiple sources of initial school leaver destination statistics - SDS, Scottish Government (via their national statistics publications and Insight) and Parentzone (hosted by Education Scotland).

These are produced at different times of the year, using different methodologies, making the school leaver publications landscape difficult to understand. The new approach will reduce the number of different publications and statistics that are published.

What is changing?

  • SDS will no longer publish school leaver destination statistics but instead focus on the publication of the annual Participation Measure every August; reporting and providing more detailed analysis on a much wider group of young people (all 16-19 year olds)
  • The Participation Measure is due to replace school leaver destinations as the official data source for the Scottish Government National Performance Indicator, ‘Increase the proportion of young people in learning, training or work’
  • Scottish Government and Parentzone will now solely publish school leaver destination statistics
  • The first public release of initial school leaver destinations for 2015/16, which will include local authority level information, will be published by the Scottish Government in March 2017. These statistics will also be placed on Parentzone.

What is staying the same?

  • Scottish Government will continue to publish both initial and follow-up school leaver destination statistics in their National Statistics publication ‘Summary Statistics for Attainment, Leaver Destinations and Healthy Living’, in June.
  • Schools and local authorities will continue to have access to their initial leaver destinations through Insight in February, the online benchmarking tool managed by the Scottish Government.
  • SDS will continue to supply school leaver destination data to Scottish Government every December and May drawn from the shared dataset and share individual data with local authorities and colleges through the 16+ Data Hub reports.

Making Skills Work

SDS will also continue to provide the recently introduced ‘Making Skills Work’ publications on a bi-annual basis (December and June). These offer information to partners on a wider and more comprehensive range of SDS activity in each local authority area and replace the local authority CPP reports that focused only on school leaver destination statistics.

The Making Skills Work winter briefing will be published this month and will be available on our In Your Area pages and publications section of our website.

Skills Development Scotland's Operations Director, Danny Logue, said: “School leaver destination statistics are produced by a number of sources, using different methodologies, at different times of the year. By streamlining and reducing the number of publications and statistics, figures will be more accessible and easier to understand.

"We hope the new approach provides greater clarity and consistency for all those who use school leaver statistics as well as provide an accurate picture of the destinations of Scotland’s school leavers.”

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