Decade-high level of students going on to positive destination

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THE number of pupils leaving school and going straight into unemployment is the lowest for more than a decade, new figures revealed today.

Just over 11 per cent of teenagers who left school this summer are struggling to find work, compared with 16 per cent the previous year.

The number of pupils moving on to “positive destinations”– higher or further education, training or employment – is the highest it has been since 1998-99.

Just over 87 per cent of school-leavers fell into this category for 2010-11 year, compared with 82.5 per cent last year.

The improvement has been largely put down to the “Edinburgh guarantee” initiative, which was launched this year.

The scheme brings together employers and other organisations with the aim of creating jobs, training and education opportunities for school-leavers.

Despite the improvement, the number of pupils going on to university, college, training or employment is still below the Scottish average of 90 per cent.

Councillor Paul Godzik, Labour’s education spokesman, said: “While it’s welcomed that the chief executive has taken some positive action, I do feel that it should have been a political priority for some time.”

The worst school this year for pupils leaving school with no positive destination was Castlebrae Community High, which saw 58 per cent leave with nowhere to go.

Boroughmuir was the best performing, with 97 per cent of its pupils going on to a positive destination.

City education leader Marilyne MacLaren said: “The Edinburgh guarantee has helped us to buck the trend. These figures are much better than last year and this is a sign of further improvements to come.”