Getting Ready to Leave School

    Press/Media: Research


    Walter Douglas completed his D.Ed.Psy. at the University of Dundee (supervised by Keith Topping) while at Glasgow Psychological Service and later went into private practice at the Kelvin Centre. His research was on disadvantaged school leavers and the effectiveness of arrangements for transition to work or further education. His work led to two publications, of which Keith Topping was co-author (e.g., Douglas, W., & Topping, K. J. (2020). The effect of social deprivation and gender on self-efficacy beliefs about the postsecondary transition. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 18(52), 399-424. The effect of social deprivation and gender on self-efficacy beliefs about the postsecondary transition | Douglas | ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY (

    This work was then publicised with the help of the University Press Office (Grant Hill), which led to a front page story in the Herald newspaper (The Herald - Scottish news, politics, sport and comment ( (see below). 

    This was then picked up by the Scottish Office and in particular the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) team. One of the products of the university research was a questionnaire Getting Ready to Leave School - a 20 item survey to be completed by the young person who then had the results discussed with a member of staff, intended to lead to more productive discucssions and more positive action. A meeting between the university researchers and the Scottish Office led to an agreement to digitise the questionnaire and place it on the DYW website to be used by DYW staff all over Scotland. Walter Douglas could be commissioned to provide training to DYW co-ordinators across Scotland. There would also be further research in that results for all schools, local authorities, and areas of disadvantage could be analysed. Additionally, if it were possible to follow up cases 6-12 months after leaving school, an indication of the effectiveness of the questionnaire in securing more productive post-school placements for disadvantaged children might be possible. 

    When the questionnaire is available online, details will be posted here. Further information about the onward research will follow. 


    Period18 Feb 2021

    Media coverage


    Media coverage


    • Leaving school