School leaver employment statistics branded ‘a fraud’

Education expert says ‘dead-end jobs’ should not count as ‘positive destinations’

Government figures on what happens to teenagers when they leave school have been branded “a fraud” by one of Scottish education’s biggest hitters, with secondary headteachers admitting that the current system lacks rigour and is open to abuse.

More than 90 per cent of Scottish teenagers entered a so-called “positive destination” upon leaving school last year, including university, further education and employment, statistics show.

However, Keir Bloomer told TESS that “dead-end jobs”, where young people were working for the minimum wage or less were being counted as positive destinations. The education expert, one of the architects of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence, argued that only “worthwhile employment” should be included in the statistics, and called for “more stringent criteria” to be introduced.

The Scottish government, however, hit back at his claims, claiming it was “unhelpful” to use the expression “dead-end jobs” and it “risked insulting many thousand of hardworking young people”.

This is an edited article from the 22 April edition of TES. Subscribers can read the full article here. This week’s TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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