Destinations are positive for school leavers

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The Borders has leapt up the Scottish league table for school leavers going on to higher or further education, training or full-time employment.

Last year 94.2% of the 1,000 plus students who departed Scottish Borders Council’s nine secondaries achieved this so-called “positive destination” – compared to a national average of 92.3%.

This puts the region fourth out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities – up from 15th in 2013.

Berwickshire High returned a positive destination rate of 94.8% with Eyemouth High recording 93.9%.

A report to SBC’s new education-themed executive revealed that 441 Borders leavers (42.6%) went to university in 2014, compared to 38.6% across Scotland, while 304 (28.7%) found a college place (26.3% nationally).

The number who found paid employment – 220 or 20.8% - was just below the Scottish rate of 21.7%, while those who embarked on work-related training (24 or 2.3%) was also under the national average of 4.1%.

Out of 1,059 local leavers, just 61 (5.8%) – below the Scottish rate of 7.3% - are unemployed and thus deemed not to have found a positive destination.

Although Eyemouth High propped up the regional league for students going to university – with just 11 out of 58 (19%) doing so – the school had the distinction of having the highest rate of leavers (24 or 41%) going into full-time employment.

A further 17 Eyemouth alumni embarked on a college course, one went into training and only five failed to get a job.

Of the 115 pupils who left Berwickshire High, 52 (45.2%) went to university, 32 went to college and 24 found jobs – with just seven failing to find employment.

The secondary with the highest percentage of leavers going to university was Earlston High, with 66 of the 131 departing students (50.4%) getting a higher education place.