Alert as staying-on rate drops

15th April 2005 at 01:00
Fewer teenagers are staying on at school because unemployment rates are so low, according to an expert from Stirling University.

John Field, director of the university's division of academic innovation and continuing education, has issued an alert about the drop in staying-on rates from 77.9 per cent in 2000 to 76.1 per cent in 2004, revealed this week in the Scottish Executive's annual pupil census statistics. Professor Field said the situation was of concern in relation to boys - only 39.1 per cent stayed on to S5 last year compared to 80 per cent of girls. This had a knock-on effect on higher education where there was a 12 per cent gap in participation rates between males and females.

"This is something we seem to be drifting into without any thought or debate," he said Professor Field added that there was not yet any cause for panic since most youngsters were staying on at school and the change was relatively small.

The most obvious explanation was that it was easier for youngsters to find jobs when unemployment was low.

However, he warned against complacency. "First, too many young people end up in jobs that do not involve any training. Second, our staying-on rate is much lower than in most European countries, and there is a risk that we are creating a low skill economy on the basis of a low wage labour supply. Both of these are a real threat in the longer term".

A spokeswoman for the Executive said that, although staying-on rate figures fluctuated from year to year, there was no evidence of a really strong trend. But the Executive would keep an eye on the situation.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now