The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition - an alliance of leading children’s care providers - comments on the Scottish Government’s statistics highlighting initial destinations for school leavers from publicly funded mainstream schools (2020/21) published today (22nd February 2022).
A spokesperson said:
“We greatly welcome the increase in the proportion of school leavers with additional support needs (ASN), such as autism, dyslexia and mental health problems, entering a positive destination three months after leaving school. These positive destinations include further education, higher education, employment and training.
“While 92.8 per cent of 2020/21 school leavers with ASN were in a positive destination, this is an increase on 2019/20 when the figure was 89.6 per cent. For those with no ASN the figures are 97.0 per cent and 95.4 per cent respectively.
“While there is still a lag between those with ASN and no ASN, the gap between each of these groups in a positive destination has decreased from 5.8 per cent for 2019/20 to 4.2 per cent in 2020/21.
“It is deeply encouraging to see an increase in the percentage of school leavers with ASN in a positive destination and to note that this gap is narrowing when compared with those with no ASN.
“While these are positive outcomes, it is key to ensure that we maintain this position when the statistics are published for those in a positive destination nine months after leaving school. Figures for 2019/20, for example, showed a disappointing decrease on the previous year.
“We also have concerns that those with ASN are facing cuts in vital services, threatening any advances made. It is therefore critical that increased resourcing is targeted at these individuals, especially as we begin the slow recovery from Covid-19."