Collecting data by another name

4th March 2005 at 00:00
If I may be permitted a brief reply to Christina Allon's letter, "Demonstrating commitment" (TESS, February 18), regarding Careers Scotland's school-leavers' statistics.

She states: "The report does differentiate between those known to be unemployed on the count date and those whose destination is unknown to us."

A more accurate description, for our school at least, would have been "those known to be unemployed on the count date along with those unemployed on their last contact with Careers Scotland".

This would then have included those formerly unemployed, who were in worktrainingFE, and unable to be contacted by Careers Scotland on the count date. Phoning individuals during office hours to determine their status may not be the best way to contact those in work or at college.

For the record, the leavers' destinations given by Careers Scotland for John Paul Academy are shown below, along with the revised figures collected by our pastoral care staff and their Careers Scotland colleagues.

As we can now put names to these individuals, I can assure Ms Allon that most of these pupils were in the categories shown on the census day in October. Therefore, the problem of data collection remains.

Published (%) Revised (%)

Full-time HE 13 13

Full-time FE 9 18

Training 5 8.5

Employed 20 33

Unemployed 37 3

Other known 8 14

Unknown 7 10

I have no cause to doubt the commitment of Careers Scotland staff, but their methods of data collection are another matter.

Charlie Docherty

John Paul Academy, Glasgow

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today