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"Improved attainment" reported as nervous wait is over for Highland pupils' as SQA exam results land through letterboxes and by text and email

By Alasdair Fraser

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Exam results saw improvements at S4, S5 and S6.
Exam results saw improvements at S4, S5 and S6.

More than 4,500 young people across the Highlands received their SQA exams results today – with improved attainment in several key areas.

Fourth year young people helped achieve the highest pass rate in the last three years for those attaining five or more National 5 qualifications - an increase of 4.9 per cent from 2019.

Results in maths at the same level saw significant improvement from 2019 with entries increased by 5 per cent, with 93 per cent of pupils achieving overall pass marks.

At Higher level for S5 learners, there was an increase in those achieving one or more Higher awards.

Some 19% of pupils gained at least one Advanced Higher, an increase of 1.8% from 2019 and an increase of 6% in grade A passes.

Chair of the council’s education committee Cllr John Finlayson said: “This year candidates returned to normality by sitting traditional exams for the first time since 2019, as the past two years were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Therefore, students have been awarded grades based on their exam results and related submitted course work.

“The positive SQA results come on the back of yet another challenging year for pupils, parents and staff and they confirm the hard work and dedication of all to maintain and improve attainment.

“I would like to congratulate all pupils and other key stakeholders for the positive results that have been achieved across Highland.”

A fuller picture will be available later in the year when other accreditation including college courses, foundation apprenticeships and wider achievement accreditation are finalised.

Executive chief officer for education and learning Nicky Grant said: “This is fantastic news.

Nicky Grant
Nicky Grant

“This signals a real shift in the levels of exam results coming through in the Highlands.

“I am particularly pleased that an important key subject such as maths has dramatically improved as it demonstrates that the range of targeted actions and improvement has really paid off.

“These results mean that many young people will be able to follow their dreams and ambitions.

“I wish to thank all the parents and carers for their support and encouragement. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to all the staff, our support staff, teaching staff, specialist staff and central staff.

“The awards that our young people achieved today, offers them a solid foundation to thrive, strive and flourish whether they are living, studying and working in our communities or further afield.”

There is support for those who were unable to attain the grades they hoped.

Young people under the age of 19 can get free, confidential support and advice from Childline or by calling 0800 1111 for free.

They might also find it helpful to talk to other young people who are going through similar experiences on the Childline message boards.

Ms Grant added: “For pupils who perhaps did not receive the results they were hoping for, I would encourage you to contact your school or the national Skills Development Scotland and/or SQA helpline as they can provide valuable advice to support you in the next steps for your future.”

SQA's Candidate Advice Line service is free of charge and opens at 9am on Results Day. The line can be reached on 0345 279 1000.

More information has been sent to learners’ homes and is available at SQA appeals.

Skills Development Scotland’s Results Helpline: 0808 100 8000. UCAS: 0371 468 0468 / Clearing resources can be found HERE

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