Education (Subject Choice)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 25th April 2019.

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I have read the Reform Scotland study that was published this week. As much of the work on the topic does, it looks at S4 but, as Jackson Carlaw knows, the senior phase in school does not consist only of S4—it lasts for three years. What matters is the qualifications and awards that pupils leave school with, not just the subjects that they study at S4.

The percentage of pupils who get qualifications at level 5 and above is up and the percentage who leave with highers is up. Back in 2009, the percentage of pupils who got five highers or more was 22 per cent; last year, it was more than 30 per cent. The attainment gap between rich and poor at higher level is at an all-time low, a record number of school leavers are in higher education and the number of school leavers from the most deprived areas in higher education has gone up by eight percentage points since a decade ago. On the day that school pupils across the country start sitting their exams, we should be paying tribute to the excellent work that they are doing.