Call to map out progression
Government-commissioned research into the transition from school to further study or training has recommended the creation of an interactive tool, similar to Facebook's timeline function, to map a young person's progression.
It also calls for S6 to be rebranded to make it a more natural progression into further or higher education, rather than a "holding pen".
Local mapping of subject column choices is proposed as a means of helping young people to take up options beyond their own school, while work experience from S1 is also suggested.
The recommendations, from Glasgow-based agency Snook, were published by the Scottish government this week in a bid to help learners overcome a number of challenges as they try to navigate their learner journey - the transition into post-school life.
The report said challenges identified by students included shortcomings in the way information was currently held and the support services available. There was insufficient centralisation of all services and products, as well as a missing link between college and university, it said.
Better communication between students, learners, teachers and parents was needed on transition services. There was also a need for S5 and S6 - described as "murky years" - to be restructured, and for the establishment of closer links between colleges and universities.
The report also called for the function of colleges to be clarified, arguing that they were currently seen as "fundamentally about training for employment, not about getting into university".
Careers advice was another focus of the report. Teachers often focused on the "university route", and "anything below this seems not as good".
Snook has presented an interactive map of the learner journey with its report. This can be used as a means to house data and help learners to consider options and long-term goals they currently cannot envisage.
The way forward
Other proposals include:
- One-to-one careers advice from guidance teachers and careers advisers;
- Flexibility in school to study school, college or university modules;
- Teachers to do work experience in industry, volunteers to share their expertise in schools;
- Create and run a start-up in S6 as an enterprise class, getting local businesses and stakeholders involved;
- Students to be engaged in developing the curriculum;
- Easily accessible information about key events in Scotland and future forecasting of industry trends.