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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-02214
Asked by: Alex Rowley, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 13 August 2021


To ask the Scottish Government what percentage of school leavers have gone to university from (a) state schools and (b) independent schools in each of the last five years.

Current status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 31 August 2021


The Scottish Government publishes information on the initial (3 months after leaving school) and follow-up (9 months after leaving school) destinations of school leavers from publicly funded schools.

Initial destination: School education statistics - (

Follow-up destination: School education statistics - (

Note that this does not directly identify the proportion who have gone to university but does identify those who have went in to Higher Education. Within these statistics Higher Education is defined based on the qualification being studied rather than the place of study. It covers those following a course of study at a level higher than the standard of the National Qualifications, i.e. above SCQF level 7. This includes degree courses, courses for the education and training of teachers, higher level courses for professional qualification and Higher National Certificate / Diploma or equivalent. This will include those studying such courses at University but also in other settings such as a Higher Education Institutions or Colleges.

The latest follow-up destinations data on the proportion of publicly funded school leavers who were in Higher Education is provided below. The Scottish Government does not hold information on the percentage of independent school leavers who have gone to university or Higher Education.

Proportion of school leavers from publicly funded schools with Higher Education follow-up destination







Higher Education






Note: These figures relate to school leavers from mainstream schools and exclude school leavers from special schools.