Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has said that the destination of school leavers highlights the fact that there is still a class divide present in Scotland.
This follows new data which shows that those from the most deprived areas are still far less likely to be in higher education 9 months after leaving school, compared to those from the least deprived areas – an access gap of over 30% remains.
The data also shows that those from the most deprived backgrounds are more likely to be unemployed at the same point in time.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“This data is confirmation that there is still a very real and devastating class divide to be found in Scotland.
“My constituency has some of the most deprived areas in Scotland – as well as some of the most affluent. It is utterly unfair that children living in such close proximity to each other, face such different future prospects because of their postcode.
“It is important to note that these figures are up to April 2020 and therefore will not show the extent to which school leavers in different economic groups have been affected by Covid-19’s influence on their final days in school. Existing inequalities are likely to have been exacerbated while schools have been closed and the Scottish Government must address this – if it doesn’t, any progress made may be undone.
“Local authorities desperately need additional funding in order to reopen schools safely and implement learning effectively. Additionally, the Scottish Government must provide new and targeted resources to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap – it will not be enough to simply rely on the measures that were in place before the crisis.”