Milngavie and Bearsden youngsters fight the economic down-turn

SCHOOL leavers in East Dunbartonshire have bucked the economic gloom to go on to employment, training and further education in greater numbers than ever.

Latest figures show that in 2011/12 an impressive 94.7 per cent of the region’s 1,254 school leavers went on to ‘positive destinations’ - namely getting a job, attending university or college, or training for a career.

It represented a 1.6 per cent increase compared to the previous academic year.

It compares favourably with the Scottish average of less than 90 per cent - with around one-in-seven 16-18-year-olds in Scotland now thought to be so-called NEETS - those not in education, employment or training.

The vast majority of leavers - 58 per cent - went on to university or college, with another 19 per cent going on to study for Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and other types of further education.

Bearden Academy sent the most pupils off to higher education, closely followed by Lenzie Academy, where around two-in-three pupils go on to take a degree of some description.

But the jobs market seems to be as tough as ever, with just 14.4 per cent of leavers landing a job - down slightly on the year before.

St Ninian’s High School was the best performing when it came to pupils walking straight into a job, with more than 20 per cent picking up pay packets after leaving.

Education convener Eric Gotts said: “These are positive statistics gathered by Skills Development Scotland and it is important that we monitor all school leavers and that they have a positive destination to go to whether it be college, employment, voluntary work or training.”