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Education & Qualifications

Boy with teacher

A person’s level of education is an important influence on health and has a major role in shaping health and wellbeing over a lifetime. Education has a wide impact on health and wellbeing in terms of developing values, emotional intelligence, self-esteem and social functioning skills and should not just be focused on formal qualifications. There are also specific issues such as the much lower levels of literacy found among people who have convictions compared to the general population.


Educational Attainment and Destination of School Leavers

94.5% of school leavers in Midlothian enter a positive destination e.g. training, employment, volunteering and further and higher education. This is higher than the national average in 2019/20 (93.3%) and has increased from 78.4% in 2008/09.

  • There is a lower proportion of people in Midlothian with HNDs, degrees, or degree-level qualifications than in Scotland overall.
  • 50% of the working age population have a qualification at NVQ level 4 or above, this has increased from 39.6% in 2018 and is similar to Scotland (49.3%).  
  • 35.8% of school leavers went into higher education in 2019/20. This has increased from 29.4% in 2014/15 but is below the national average of 44.2%.
  • 34.5% of Midlothian school leavers entered further education in 2019/20. This is higher than the national average (28.1%).
  • 2,204 students were enrolled at Edinburgh College in 2018/19.

38% of students who are registered as having a disability in Edinburgh College, Midlothian have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD. Mental health conditions such as depression, schizophrenia or anxiety disorders account for 28%.


Adult Literacy

The Midlothian Council Lifelong Learning & Employability ALN Service worked with 97 adults in the year 2020/21 (higher levels of women attended programmes than men).

67 instances of ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) learning took place. The most common first language of people attending these courses was Arabic or Polish.

The data for 2020/2021 reflects the fact that Lifelong Learning and Employability staff were delivering critical services during Covid and maintaining contact with only those deemed to be most vulnerable, mainly English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learners and Syrian refugees.