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28 February 2023

Initial School Leaver Destinations published

The Scottish Government has released the latest Initial School Leaver Destinations for 2021/22 showing 95.7% of leavers were in an initial positive destination compared to 95.5% in 2020/21.

This is the highest positive destination rate since consistent records began in 2009/10.

  • Between 2020/21 and 2021/22 the positive destination rate for those living in the most deprived areas rose by more than the rate in the least deprived areas. This has resulted in a 4pp decrease in the deprivation gap; the smallest gap on record.
  • Nationally the percentage of leavers in employment increased from 22.6% in 2020/21 to 25.1% in 2021/22. This increase brings the proportion of school leavers entering employment to the highest rate since consistent records began in 2009/10.
  • The percentage of leavers that were unemployed and seeking decreased from 2.5%, in 2020/21, to 2.3%, in 2021/22. This is the lowest since consistent records began in 2009/10.
  • The percentage of leavers in Higher Education was 41.2% compared to 45.1% last year. This reduction brings the percentage in line with previous years after sharp increases in 2019/20 and 2020/21.

Further information about the results can be found on the Scottish Government website.

School Leaver Destination Stats Feb

These results demonstrate the hard work and commitment of SDS CIAG Operations colleagues working in partnership with schools to support pupils throughout their time at school and beyond.

On release of the statistics, Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “This highlights the achievements of Scotland’s learners – making the transition from school can be a daunting time, so it’s great to see a record number of young people progressing in their studies or careers after leaving school.

"These statistics also demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach to learning through Curriculum for Excellence, which is clearly helping to prepare young people for their futures during a crucial stage of their lives.

"Closing the deprivation gap remains a top priority for us and these statistics show we are continuing to make progress, with the gap between school leavers from the most and least deprived areas in work, training or further study down to a record low.”

This is the highest positive destination rate since consistent records began in 2009-10 and it is very encouraging to see that the results continue to move in such a positive direction.

Sharon McIntyre

Head of CIAG Opeations, Skills Development Scotland

Foundation Apprenticeships (Experimental Statistics)

The Scottish Government’s publication also contains data on school leaver attainment and includes information on the number of school leavers who achieved Foundation Apprenticeships.

This is the third year this information has been published and, reflecting the fact that work to assure the quality of these statistics is ongoing, the statistics have been labelled as ‘experimental’.

The figures contained in the publication’s supplementary table A1.5 covers the number of school leavers in 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 who have achieved a Foundation Apprenticeship, by subject.