A RECORD number of East Lothian’s young people are working, studying or training soon after leaving school, according to new data.

School leaver destination returns are used across the country to record the number of pupils who go on to work, further or higher education, training or other activities, such as voluntary commitments, after school.

The data is then followed up to determine outcomes after a period of up to 10 months.

This year’s report found that across East Lothian, 96.3 per cent of young people who had left school during academic session 2022/23 were in a positive destination by February 2024.

This was an increase on the previous year (95.6 per cent) and higher than the national average of 95.9 per cent.

The numbers of leavers moving into further and higher education rose by 1.2 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively, while there was a 4.8 per cent decrease in the number moving into employment.

Additionally, the attainment gap between care-experienced school leavers and their classmates nearly disappeared.

The number of care-experienced young people leaving school with five or more awards at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 1 or above increased by 21 per cent in 2022-23 compared to the previous year.

This reduced the attainment gap for this group from 24.7 per cent to 0.8 per cent.

Nicola McDowell, East Lothian Council’s head of education, said: “I am very pleased to see a continued improvement in our positive destination figures. They should all be very proud of their accomplishments.

“We are ambitious for all of our learners and will use the insights that this and other data provides, as well as the resources available to us, to help them succeed in school and in life beyond it.”