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'It is about providing courses that are relevant'

ONE Glasgow school that has seen a significant rise in the number of pupils securing a job or going into training or further study is Smithycroft Secondary, in the north east of the city.

FOCUS ON THE FUTURE: Smithycroft Secondary headteacher Jean Miller is surrounded by pupils, left to right, Linzi Kennedy, Dylan Anderson,  Amy Allan, Dean McIlear and Chantelle Baillie. The school has a range of initiatives to prepare pupils for work. Picture: Phil Rider
FOCUS ON THE FUTURE: Smithycroft Secondary headteacher Jean Miller is surrounded by pupils, left to right, Linzi Kennedy, Dylan Anderson, Amy Allan, Dean McIlear and Chantelle Baillie. The school has a range of initiatives to prepare pupils for work. Picture: Phil Rider

In 2012/13, the percentage of pupils who went into employment or secured a place at college or university was more than 90%, after a seven percentage point rise on the previous year.

The number of pupils going to higher education, either at college or university, jumped from 16% in 2011/12 to 23% this year.

And pupils leaving school to go onto the dole dropped by eight percentage points to 8%.

The achievements are particularly impressive given the school has 37% of its pupils on free school meals compared to a Scottish average of 15%.

Free school meals are a key indicator of poverty, which has the most significant negative impact on school attainment.

Headteacher Jean Miller said the school had a very significant focus on the path pupils would take once they left.

Initiatives include visiting speakers talking about their occupations and skills and posters of former pupils who have achieved success on the walls of classrooms.

By S3, careers advice becomes more targeted as pupils begin to think more about the subjects they are interested in and there is greater interaction with local employers.

Links with colleges and universities throughout the city are also strong to prepare the brightest pupils for further study. "We are committed to helping young people move on. Schools no longer see their role as just getting pupils through their exams," she said.

"It is about providing them with the skills they need to help them in the future and about providing courses and skills that are relevant.

"In order to do that we work with individual pupils to assess what their interests are and what their achievements are so we can develop specific pathways for them."

Contextual targeting label: 
Education

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