Positive News of Orkney’s School Leavers

educationOrkney school leavers continue to do well as 96.1% have positive destinations when they leave school compared to the national average of 93.7%.

For the period of 2016/17 initially on leaving school  204 young people in Orkney went to:

  • Higher Education: 41%
  • Further  Education: 16%
  • Employed: 37%
  • Training:*
  • Activity Agreement:*
  • Voluntary Work:*
  • Unemployed Seeking:*
  • Unemployed Not Seeking:*
  • Not Known:*

*too small a cohort to calculate

The official publication Initial Destinations of Senior Phase School Leavers has data for all schools in Scotland and shows a small improvement for those from poorer backgrounds .

The information covers the first 3 months of where students go when they first leave school.

“67.5 % of senior phase school leavers continued their education within Higher or Further Education establishments.

Chart data
Percentage of school leavers in initial destination
Destination 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
Higher Education 37.8 37.1 39.1 38.8 40.3 40.7
Further Education 26.7 27.6 26.3 27.6 26.6 26.8
Employed 19.8 20.4 21.7 21.4 22.3 22
Training 4.5 4.8 4.0 3.8 2.6 2.4
Activity Agreement 0.9 1.3 1.0 0.9 1.0 1.2
Voluntary Work 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.6


Most leavers who have attended grant aided schools will go onto Higher Education, 82%, compared to a national average of 41%.

Local authorities have increased spending on education in real terms for the second year running from £4.946 billion in 2015-16 to £5,070 billion in 2016-17.

John Swinney,Deputy First Minister in the Scottish Government   said:

John Swinney

Deputy First Minister John Swinney (Photo Scot Gov)

“Closing the attainment gap is this government’s number one priority. Every child should have the best possible start in life, no matter their background. Schools have a significant role to play in ensuring every child is given the right support to help them achieve their full potential and so I very much welcome this increase by local authorities.

“What’s more, with the Budget that the Scottish Parliament passed last week delivering a real-terms increase in next year’s council funding, we want to see this trend continue.

“However, the way this funding is currently allocated to schools is complex, lacks transparency and varies from council to council. We want far more decisions on school funding to be in the hands of those with the expertise and insight to target resources at the greatest need – the schools themselves.

“To help achieve this, we committed £120 million to our Pupil Equity Fund this year. This additional money is available to head teachers to address some of the specific issues that might be affecting poverty related attainment in their schools.”

The Pupil Equity Fund is  part of the £179 million Attainment Scotland Fund for 2018-19 and which the Scottish Parliament agreed to in the Scottish Budget. The aim is to reduce the attainment gap with targeted support and schools receive the money directly based on the number of pupils from P1 to S3 who are eligible and registered for free school meals.

The schools in Orkney to receive money from the Pupil Equity Fund for 2017/18.

  • Kirkwall Grammar School: £37,200
  • Stromness Academy: £10,800
  • Firth Primary School: £7,200
  • Glaitness Primary School: £24,000
  • Orphir Primary School: £7,200
  • Papdale Primary School: £61,200
  • Sanday Community School: £9,600
  • Stromness Primary School: £15,600

Commenting on the fund John Swinney said:

“Last year’s allocation is already making a big impact. I have visited a number of schools up and down the country where this funding has empowered teachers to put in place creative new initiatives that are tackling the attainment gap in their schools right now.

“I hope this second round of funding will help schools to build on that progress, supported by our reforms to education that will raise standards for all and put excellence and equity at the heart of Scottish education.”

John Swinney 2

Deputy First Minister John Swinney (Photo Scot Gov)

Reporter: Fiona Grahame


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