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Partnerships to support early school leavers: school–college transitions and ‘winter leavers’ in Scotland

Canduela, Jesus; Chandler, Rachel; Elliott, Ian; Lindsay, Colin; Macpherson, Suzi; McQuaid, Ronald W.; Raeside, Robert


Jesus Canduela

Rachel Chandler

Ian Elliott

Colin Lindsay

Suzi Macpherson

Ronald W. McQuaid


This article explores the characteristics, destinations and progression routes of early school leavers - specifically 'exceptional entry winter leavers' - in Scotland. Exceptional entry allows students to enter college in the term before their statutory school leaving date - such young people attend college while formally remaining the responsibility of their school. Such arrangements represent an innovative model of supporting transitions to further education among a specific, potentially vulnerable client group, while also offering lessons for the development of school-college collaboration in other areas. Based on an analysis of official data, new survey research with schools and colleges, and in-depth case studies, this article identifies how schools and colleges work in partnership to support these early school leavers. We find that schools and colleges have developed a range of innovative approaches to engaging with winter leavers, and that the majority complete their programmes or achieve other positive end-of-year outcomes. However, the most disadvantaged young people remain least likely to progress. The article concludes by identifying lessons for good practice in school-college partnership-working and considering implications for policies to prevent young people from finding themselves not in employment, education or training.


Canduela, J., Chandler, R., Elliott, I., Lindsay, C., Macpherson, S., McQuaid, R. W., & Raeside, R. (2010). Partnerships to support early school leavers: school–college transitions and ‘winter leavers’ in Scotland. Journal of Education and Work, 23(4), 339-362.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2010-09
Deposit Date Apr 21, 2011
Print ISSN 1363-9080
Electronic ISSN 1469-9435
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 4
Pages 339-362
Keywords early school leavers; college; further education; NEET
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