1.1 This publication brings together Scottish Qualifications Authority ( SQA) attainment information and Skills Development Scotland ( SDS) leaver destination information to present a picture of how achievement at school can influence what happens within the first year after leaving school.
1.2 Information from SDS was matched to the Pupil Census on a number of criteria (Scottish Candidate Number ( SCN), Centre, Date of Birth, amongst others) and then matched to the SQA attainment data. The school and pupil characteristics information from this linkage has been used throughout the publication (except for the Scotland Performs National Indicator). This enables analysis of attainment and destinations by pupil characteristic, for example. For more information on the matching process, and updates to it, please see background note 3.1.
1.3 The presentation of school leaver attainment data in this publication reflects the move to a more outcomes-based approach. Leavers have been classified by identifying the highest SCQF level at which they achieved one or more passes by the time they leave school. This system includes SQA attainment for courses at SCQF levels 3 to 7 each individual has achieved throughout their schooling (see background note 2.1).
1.4 This approach aligns more closely with the changes arising from the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence ( CfE) and its more flexible approach to learning in terms of the range of qualifications available and when these can be taken. In time this information will help to monitor the effect of these changes on attainment and leaver destinations.
1.5 The information on school leaver destinations presented in this publication helps national and local partnership collaborations to improve post-16 transition planning for young people. It also contributes towards the Scottish Performs National Indicator on increasing the proportion of young people in learning, training or work. The National Indicator reflects the Opportunities for All commitment to an offer of an appropriate place in learning and training for those young people not already engaged in education, training or employment. It is currently still measured using the SDS leaver destination information while systems are put in place to measure participation in learning, training or work for all 16 to 19 year olds.
1.6 This publication also includes information from the Healthy Living Survey, conducted in late February 2016. The Healthy Living Survey combines the annual school meals survey and a Physical Education ( PE) survey introduced in 2012. The Healthy Living Survey data are collected at a school level and are not related to the other information in this publication. They are presented in sections 5 and 6.