• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Record number of city pupils in higher education

A RECORD number of pupils from schools in Scotland's largest council area are going on to higher education, new figures have revealed.

The proportion of school-­leavers in Glasgow who went to university or college to study a higher education course in 2012/13 is now 31.4%, up two percentage points on the previous year.

The proportion of school-leavers studying at further education courses at college is 27.4% after a fall of one percentage point. There has also been a slight decline in those entering training courses.

Overall, more than 89% of Glasgow pupils left school to go into so-called positive destinations in 2012/13 - up one percentage point on the previous year.

Significantly, those recorded as unemployed is now 9.5% - dropping into single figures for the first time and the city's lowest ever percentage recorded as ­unemployed. In 2003 the figure was 18%.

The record level of pupils securing a place at either university or college follows a number of schemes to get more talented young people from deprived communities into higher education at both a national and local level.

Universities across the west of Scotland now have direct links with schools to encourage bright pupils to apply and support them through the process.

The Scottish Government has also given institutions extra money to provide more places for those from poorer backgrounds.

Martin Collins, a manager with the city council's employment and skills team, said the council had also implemented a number of schemes to improve pupil prospects.

One of the most important of these, he said, was making a senior member of staff in every secondary school responsible for pupil destinations.

"It is their role to organise monthly case management meetings to work through a list of every single young person that is due to be leaving to ensure they have a positive destination lined up that suits their skills," he said.

"There is a particular focus on those that are more vulnerable and who are seen as having a risk of not going on to a positive destination because of issues with their attendance, attainment or behaviour.

"These pupils will be referred to a central team who will identify what they like doing and what they are good at and then develop a programme of activity suited to them."

This could include counselling, anger management treatment, lessons on personal finance or personal development training.

Further support is then given to help them get an apprenticeship or go on to further study.

"We are now better than we have ever been at supporting these pupils when they leave school and as they progress," he added.

Stephen Curran, the council's executive member for education, said the figures were a testament to the "hard work, determination and commitment" of pupils and teachers. "Not only have we recorded our best ever exam results last year, these destination figures prove we are also closing the gap with the rest of the country," he said.

For generations, Glasgow pupils have been outperformed by counterparts across Scotland.

The situation exists because many Glasgow schools deal with a catalogue of social issues linked to poverty.

On average, 30% of pupils in the city receive free school meals - a key indicator of poverty - compared to just 15% elsewhere.

Despite these challenges, the schools have improved dramatically over the past five years. Attendances have also improved and exclusions have been cut.

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.