THE number of school leavers in Scotland securing work, training or further education has reached record levels, according to the latest data.

Some 95.9% of school leavers were in a “positive destination” three months after the academic year finished in 2022-23, statistics from the Scottish Government show.

Of those, 96% left school with one pass or more at SCQF Level 4 or better.

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In 2021-22, the rate of “positive destinations” was 95.7% – which was the highest since records began in 2009.

The majority of school leavers in 2022-23 left in S6, at 57.1%, down 2.7 percentage points since 2021-22, followed by 28.5% who left in S5, up 0.8 percentage points on the previous year.

Some 14.4% left in S4, aged 15 or 16, up 2.0 percentage points since 2021-22.

The Attainment and Initial Leaver Destination statistics 2022-23 also show the gap between those from the most and least deprived areas progressing after leaving school has continued to narrow and is now at a record low (3.7 percentage points).

The proportion of school leavers with one or more technical or vocational qualifications at SCQF Level 5 or better has reached a record high of 30.4%.

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Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth (below) said: “These figures show the highest proportion of Scotland’s young people are achieving positive destinations since records began and it is very encouraging to see so many people are securing work, training or further study.

The National: “We are committed to closing the poverty-related attainment gap and ensuring all of our young people have the same opportunities to progress in life, so I’m encouraged to see that the gap in relation to positive destinations has narrowed to a record low.

“Young people experienced significant disruption to their education during the pandemic. To see so many of them reaching positive destinations is really heartening – and is testament to their hard work and the extraordinary support provided by Scotland’s teachers.”