High achievers’ record results

More than 142,000 Scottish youngsters have received their exam results, achieving a record number of Higher passes.

The long wait for results came to an end on Tuesday, August 4, with school pupils across the country receiving a range of qualifications including National 4s and 5s, Highers and Advanced Highers.

This year, the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) awarded 150,000 Higher passes – up 5.5 per cent on last year.

There was also an increase of 17.7 per cent on Higher English passes and a 15.2 per cent rise in Higher modern languages passes.

And Advanced Higher passes have increased by four per cent to a record 18,899.

Results from the Higher Maths paper, which sparked wide-spread criticism for being too difficult, were similar to last year’s, with around 70 per cent of candidates making the grade.

This year’s results also saw more than 107,000 students sitting the new-style Higher exam which is being phased in this year.

It was introduced as part of the Curriculum for Excellence reforms, which include replacing Standard Grades with Nationals.

Angela Constance, Education Secretary said: “This is another strong performance by Scotland’s young people.

“They have worked hard and I congratulate each and every one of them, as well as their families and carers and teachers and lecturers who have provided support.

“Scotland has seen record numbers of Higher and Advanced Higher passes with students performing particularly well in English and in modern languages.

“Despite concerns about the new Higher Maths exam, it’s clear that the system worked, that candidates have been treated fairly, and that standards have been maintained.

“We now have a curriculum and assessment system designed to get the very best out of students and give them every possible chance of entering employment, training or further education.”

There was a strong performance in qualifications related to skills for life and work, with attainment in Awards, National Certificates and National Progression Awards up 22.8 per cent to 33,931.

Dr Janet Brown, SQA’s chief executive and Scotland’s chief examining officer, said: “The introduction of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) has been one of the biggest changes to the Scottish education system for a generation.

“These results show that all of the hard work has been worthwhile with significant progress being made towards full implementation of CfE and the new qualifications.

“There is a broadening recognition of the different ways candidates can demonstrate their skills and achieve success, whether it be National 5, the new or existing Higher, Advanced Higher, Skills for Work or National Progression Awards.

“Employers require candidates to display a wide range of qualities.

“Our assessments and qualifications are designed to provide people with the skills required to succeed today and in the future – whether that be further study, training or employment.”