Scots pupils to be given online accounts to plan careers

Online learner accounts will be brought in for all pupils from 2019. Picture: John Devlin
Online learner accounts will be brought in for all pupils from 2019. Picture: John Devlin
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School pupils are to be given online accounts to help them record achievements and plan a future career.

Online learner accounts will be brought in for all pupils from 2019 with the aim of providing personalised support and linking their skills to better course choices.

The recommendation was contained in a review of how 15-24-year-olds progress through the education system.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the Scottish Government would also take forward recommendations to provide more joined-up advice and guidance on post-school options across the education sector as well as a better balance of work-based and academic skills.

Greater flexibility for young people to move between high school or college and different years of a degree course will also be pursued.

Mr Swinney said: “Our school leavers now have a widening range of opportunities available - from industry-led technical professional options to long standing, well-established academic routes. But what is clear is there is no single route to success in life.

“With a record proportion of school leavers going on to a positive destination, there is much to celebrate already. This review will build on firm foundations and challenges all of us within the education and skills sector to go further.

“Ensuring the right advice, support and guidance fits seamlessly around a pupil is vital. Schools, colleges, universities and employers must work together to help young people navigate what is, rightly, a wide and varied range of post-school opportunities.

“Taking forward these recommendations will require strong leadership across the sector but will ensure all young people are supported to take the learner journey that is right for them.”

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Holyrood’s Education and Skills Committee has announced it will carry out an inquiry into whether schools offer enough information about work, apprenticeships or college after a survey revealed many young people feel that university is prioritised over other options.

Of the 895 people aged 15-24 who took part, 60 per cent said they were told more about how to get into university than other options such as work, college or training programmes.

More than two thirds (67 per cent ) of respondents thought this was because it was “what the school thought most people would do next”.

Work experience was the most common support recognised as on offer (70 per cent of respondents), while less than half (48 per cent ) agreed that their school offered life skills support.

Through its inquiry the committee will examine the advice given to young people in school to ensure that information is available on all pathways.

Convener James Dornan MSP said: “University is just one choice for young people. Our committee wants to make sure that those choosing work, apprenticeships or college are given the same quality of information about these options to let them pursue the right path for them.”