The number of school leavers in East Lothian who go on to further education, training or employment has increased for the second year in a row, and continues an overall improving trend since 2005.

The ‘Positive School Leavers Destinations 2016/17’ report, presented at an Education committee of East Lothian Council, uses the ‘Increasing post school participation’ measure from Insight, which is considered to be a key benchmark for helping schools and local authorities understand their strengths and key areas for improvement in areas relating to post school participation and attainment.

Positive destinations can be school leavers going into Higher or Further Education, training, and employment as well as apprenticeships, activity agreements or volunteering.

Highlights of the report indicate that, in 2017:

  • 94% of school leavers were in a positive destination after leaving school, an increase from 93.5% in 2015/16. This continues an upward trend, and an increase of 4% in five years
  • The numbers of young people continuing their education within Higher or Further Education establishments has increased by 2.4 percentage points, to 63.6% in 2016/17  
  • The percentage of looked after young people who move into positive destinations is higher than the national average
  • The percentage of school leavers with additional support needs who move into positive destinations is higher than the national average

Fiona Robertson, Head of Education at East Lothian Council, said:

“Records show that, once again, an increasing number of young people in East Lothian are going on to a positive destination after leaving school, whether that is continuing their education, additional training or going into employment. Also of note is that the percentage of school leavers with additional support needs, or who are looked after young people, who are going on to positive destinations is higher than the national average for these groups. This is great news, and reflects the commitment of our staff to work closely with these young people to deliver good outcomes.

“Whilst these results are very positive, we are never complacent. The Education Service Improvement Plan sets out to improve employability skills and sustained positive destinations for all young people and we will continue to work with East Lothian Works and other partners to improve the range of pathways for school leavers.”

Councillor Shamin Akhtar, Cabinet Spokesperson for Education and Children’s Services, said:

“It’s really great news that, once again, the number of young people in East Lothian who are leaving school and going on to a positive destination is at its highest ever level - and at 94%, this is almost all our young people. This is a fantastic achievement for all concerned.

“I know that a great deal of work goes into ensuring progression routes are planned for young people, including working with partners in the community and those in further and higher education. I want to thank all of those involved in achieving this result including our Head Teachers, teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as parents and carers, who are also crucial in supporting our young people.”

The associated committee papers can be viewed on our website.

Published: Tuesday, 19th June 2018