West Dunbartonshire Council considers teaching life skills

Teaching youngsters how to budget their money, take out the bin or do their own laundry could be part of the West Dunbartonshire secondary school curriculum.

It comes as local authority education officials continue to take action to help improve the number of young people leaving school and entering a positive destination each year.

In 2021, nearly 91% of school leavers went to university or college, took up an apprenticeship or some form of work.

A report presented to the education committee last week raised questions about preparing young people moving for the first time.

The council’s senior adviser, Martin Rooney, said: “The report indicates that more should be done to prepare young people to travel to study or leave their homes.

“Is it a responsibility of the council, of the families or of the Scottish government?”

Education officials said it was about finding out what the council can do to support young people who were unprepared for the general life skills required of them.

Senior education officer Laura Mason said: ‘We really can’t underestimate this. It can be as simple as taking out a trash can, doing your own laundry, or budgeting your money to put tea on the table.

“Maybe we need to include that in our senior curriculum to help all the young people who are leaving home.”

The report also says the council would do more to record data on school leavers before the summer holidays and refer those without offers to Skills Development Scotland, No One Left Behind (NOLB) or Young Person Guarantee (YPG).

West Dunbartonshire will also ensure pupils engage with partners to access a variety of opportunities as part of YPG & NOLB through two targeted events while using training days in August. It would aim to help ensure that students making decisions about their after-school future are well-informed with up-to-date information about colleges, universities and the job market.

Education officials “will tap into the ‘alumni’ network, to ensure that young people are better informed about college or university life by someone they know, with experience of first hand, as well as to prepare young people leaving home for the life skills they will need.