Commenting on the Scottish Government’s statistics for leaver destinations for school leavers (2019/20) out today (15th June 2021), a spokesperson for the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition – an alliance of leading independent and third sector service providers - commented:
“We are deeply concerned about the falling levels of school leavers with additional support needs (ASN), such as autism, dyslexia and mental health problems, entering a positive destination nine months after leaving school. This includes the likes of further education, higher education, employment and training.
“While 87.2 per cent of 2019/20 school leavers with ASN were in a positive destination nine months after leaving school (PDF), this is a decrease on 2018/19 when the figure was 87.9 per cent. For those with no ASN the figures are 94.9 per cent and 95.1 per cent respectively.
“The gap between those school leavers with ASN and those with no ASN in a positive destination has increased from 7.2 per cent for 2018/19 to 7.7 per cent in 2019/20.
“It is deeply disappointing to see a fall in the number of school leavers with ASN in a positive destination and to note that this gap is growing when compared with those with no ASN.
“As the impact of Covid-19 becomes more evident, we anticipate this gap continuing to grow and it is crucial that resourcing is targeted at those individuals with ASN to give them the best possible opportunities, both in the classroom and as they transition beyond it.
“This is clearly challenging in an environment of austerity, however, the cost to society in the long term if adequate resourcing is not provided will far outweigh any potential savings made today.”