Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has praised local schools after figures showed a continued increase in the number of school leavers achieving a qualification at Higher level or above.

The proportion of school leavers across Scotland attaining a qualification at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 6 or 7 has risen from 55.7% in 2012-13 to 61.7% in 2015-16, according to Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The rise in Falkirk district was even more marked – up from 55.6% to 64%.

The latest figures also show the proportion of looked-after leavers with one or more qualification at SCQF level 5 or better has more than doubled from 15% to 40% since 2009-10.

Mr Matheson said: “These figures are very encouraging and, although there’s more work to be done to raise attainment for all, our schools in Falkirk district can be proud of the significant progress they’ve made.

“The notable improvement in the number of looked-after pupils who are gaining a qualification is particularly good news, because it’s clear evidence that the attainment gap is narrowing for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable young people.”