SCHOOL leavers from the most deprived parts of Scotland are half as likely as those from the wealthiest areas to have passed at least one Higher or Advanced Higher.
Less than 40 per cent of those leaving school in the poorest parts of Scotland achieved this, compared to just under 80 per cent in the most affluent places, new figures showed. Almost three-fifths (58.8 per cent) of school leavers in 2013/14 had passed at least one Higher or Advanced Higher when they finished secondary school – up from 55.8 per cent the previous year.
A total of 39 per cent of school leavers in the most deprived areas of Scotland achieved this, compared to 34.9 per cent of 2012/13 leavers. The proportion of youngsters in the most affluent communities passing at least one Higher also rose, going from 77.4 per cent to 79.7 per cent.
EIS teaching union general secretary Larry Flanagan warned that the “attainment gap” had not narrowed enough despite policies such as the extension of free school meals. He said: “Poverty continues to have a negative impact on the education and life chances of too many young people across Scotland, and the attainment gap between Scotland’s most and least deprived pupils continues to be a huge challenge that society must tackle.”