Is it good that young people are staying

On examination affects day, education correspondent Jamie McIvor asks a fundamental and retro query: is it a great issue that more youngsters than ever earlier than stay on at faculty or visit college and university?

Exam passes are excessive using ancient requirements; more kids stay in college and go to university or university. Is this a terrific aspect in itself? Or is the schooling gadget having to evolve to the fact that there are fewer appropriate jobs for younger humans within the current world and that unskilled jobs are disappearing?

It is an exciting philosophical query to ponder – one quite distinct from the question of ensuring all younger people can gain their capacity in training, no matter wealth or circle of relatives’ heritage. Where to move for help on exam outcomes day. The suspicion of a few has continually been that the training gadget has had to take in kids who may otherwise have been unemployed – both because of money troubles or the sluggish disappearance of some unskilled jobs. In the 1970s, the faculty leaving age changed from 15 to 16; however, it took similarly ten years for a qualifications system designed with the greater academically-in position in mind to adapt.

For a few years, children who could not look for a full suite of O grades stuffed their 0.33 and fourth-month timetables with “no certificates” courses – visible by a few as a waste of effort. The boredom those college students experienced became blamed by using a few teachers for indiscipline. Standard grades had been designed to make sure all children ought to get a meaningful qualification. This underlying ethos has been carried into the modern-day National qualifications.

But in the 1980s, it was unusual for a teenager who did not read for Highers to stay on until S5. When a person who was now not doing Highers stayed on past their statutory leaving age, once more, a few suspected that the teen turned into simplest at faculty to “stay off the dole.” In Scotland, the reliable school leaving age continues to be sixteen, but most scholars, regardless of their academic potential, stay on until S6. It is now uncommon to leave at the top of S4, and schools might certainly be worried if a teenager desired to go away early without a great reason for doing so.

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Positive outcomes

S4, S5, and S6 are now called the “senior phase.” The emphasis is on a teenager’s qualifications when they go away – no longer on what they have achieved with a selected degree. The wide variety of so-called – children who aren’t in education, employment, or training – are at a shallow stage of buying ancient requirements.


The Scottish authorities ensure kids who aren’t in an activity have a place in education or training. It is frequently the case that a pupil classed as a Neet has a protracted returned story, which helps explain the state of affairs. Suppose a student leaves college before the cease of S6 because they have secured an apprenticeship or a place at college or university. In that case, it’d be deemed a “tremendous final result” if a teen without a doubt wanted to go away from school for a dead-quit process; a college might fear this becomes a failure on their component as the pupil may not be enjoying their education.

Student celebrating examination

The senior segment is designed to provide a flexible staying system where any teen can obtain a young prince. For the maximum academically capable, the query may be what Highers or Advanced Highers they leave college with. For others, it might be approximately the quantity of National 4s and 5s they reap – even one Higher would possibly constitute a huge non-public achievement. Colleges have been through a big shake-up in recent years and now listen frequently on full-time courses that lead to a regarded qualification – college students often take those in their teens or early 20s.

Drop-out rate

Privately, some inside the college machine warn that schools have-commodate kids who may, in any other case, be unemployed and who positively need to be reading a topic. This can be contemplated in the drop-out charge for some courses. So we return to the query: is a college machine where it is uncommon for a teenager to depart early and a university device that has to find locations for folks that might, in any other case, be unemployed attaining something high-quality in itself? Or is it merely parking the kid’s unemployment problem, similar to noncertificates S4 training within the Seventies?

Boy doing exam paper.

Few in the mainstream would critically argue that instructional opportunities must be as broadly available as feasible. But the issue touches on an intriguing question. Once it became viable to leave college with O grades and get a job with potential. Not so long in the past, many top jobs had been to be had to kids with true Highers. Today, besides cutting-edge apprenticeships, the maximum top jobs for young people require a college or college qualification first.

So, is the education system having to deal with the practical effect of financial change?

De-industrialization and automation mean the various unskilled, access degree jobs school leavers no longer exist. Or are the modifications undoubtedly assisting in providing the personnel the financial system desires?

A skilled group of workers

The argument is that Scotland, like each superior country, desires as skilled a team of workers as possible to compete worldwide and fulfill its potential. A professional team of workers no longer means turning out scientists and surgeons – it is a way for hairdressers and a group of workers for the hospitality enterprise. Once, fewer people in one’s industries could have obtained any formal university education and may have found out at the task or served a traditional apprenticeship. But the argument is that a proper route and education raise standards and permit the first-rate to shine.

Anecdotally, the route, among the unskilled jobs which people with few qualifications may additionally as soon as have performed – say stacking shelves inside the grocery store – at the moment are accomplished by college students or people with college or university qualifications who locate themselves “underemployed”. Indeed, even as the quantity of younger human beings at college is close to historically excessive, many graduates do not secure what could be visible as graduate-stage jobs even though few could do unskilled work for lengthy.

None of this suggests that awesome training isn’t always free – although it does not lead to a person getting a better task than they will have been given in any other case. But possibly, it is thrilling to reflect on how, in the area of slightly 40 years, the time someone routinely spends in training has extended. Once, a simple education ended at 15; now, few teenagers are completely out of the gadget.