Positive destinations for more school leavers

Pupils moving on to further education, training or jobs

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More pupils in North Lanarkshire are leaving school for a 'positive destination' than ever before.

Figures published by the Scottish Government for school leavers in 2018/19 show 94.3% of S4-6 pupils moving on to further or higher education, training or a job.

This is an increase of 0.8% on 2017/18 and, although the North Lanarkshire figure is slightly below the national average of 95.05%, the gap is closing year on year.

Across North Lanarkshire, 15 of the 23 secondary schools saw an improvement in leaver destination performance and 11 schools (almost 48%) are above the Scottish average.

"Our ambition is to give young people the best possible outcomes from school and help them take the first steps on their chosen career paths," said Derek Brown, Executive Director of Education and Families, "and these latest figures show that we are delivering on that.

"As part of a council-wide review of employability services, schools are working more closely with council services, businesses and industry organisations to support young people to realise their full potential and ensure they have the skills for the world of work. Throughout secondary schools, teachers work with pupils to develop their skills, talents and ambitions across academic and vocational subjects.

"It is particularly encouraging to see a 3% increase in the number of pupils from communities with high levels of deprivation moving into positive destinations.

"Preparing young people for the job market and future careers and building a strong local economy, is a key priority within our Plan for North Lanarkshire, which aims to make North Lanarkshire the place to live, learn, work, invest and visit."

Not reflected in these figures, are the positive outcomes for the 90 young people who took part in an innovative winter leavers programme running from August 2019.

The programme focused on improving opportunities for pupils who leave school at 16 in the winter term by offering mentoring, extended and flexible work placements, vocational learning and wider achievement qualifications.

"These young people were at risk of leaving school without a positive destination," Derek Brown explained. "However, as a result of our winter leavers programme, 82 are now in employment, further education or training.

"The remaining eight young people continue to be supported by Education and Families staff and partners until they are job-ready and an appropriate opportunity arises. All 90 young people will benefit from six months follow-up support to ensure they are able to sustain and progress appropriately.

"This is an outstanding achievement for everyone involved - congratulations to all our winter leavers."

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