Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has announced that this year’s school leavers have recorded a best ever performance of 34% of young people leaving school with five or more Highers. This is an increase of 4% from 2014.
There has been an increase in the number of pupils obtaining Advanced Highers with more young people achieving qualifications compared to 2014. Significantly, there has been a 9% increase in the number of pupils achieving A Grade passes and a continued positive overall pass rate at grades A-D of 90%.
All key performance measures have improved for sixth year pupils in 2015 compared to 2014.
The number of pupils receiving A Grade passes at Higher level rose by 4% to 39%, compared to 35% in 2014, while 88% of pupils received an overall pass rate at A-D level.
The current fifth year is the first year through the new curriculum and they have provided Scottish Borders with a best ever performance in Highers in S5. This demonstrates that the new curriculum structures are making a positive difference to pupils’ performance. The three key performance measures at Higher for fifth year pupils have improved across the board in 2015 compared to 2014. More fifth year pupils are attaining Highers than ever before.
In the second year of the new National Qualifications, a more inclusive approach was adopted which saw an extension of the range of provision across the Borders. This resulted in an increase in presentation levels. The percentage of young people obtaining five or more National 5 qualifications increased by more than 1% while the National 5 pass rate was maintained at 90% overall.
Berwickshire High School Headteacher, John Clarke said: “Our exam results for 2015 reflect positively on the hard work that our learners and teachers have put in over the last year. We are delighted to see that our recent sixth years continue the trend of leaving school with more qualifications of a higher standard than in any of the previous years. Equally satisfying has been our improving National 5 results. Within the overall school results there have been some outstanding individual results and we congratulate all of our young people on their own individual performances. We now look forward to building on this success for each individual in the coming year.”
Eyemouth High School Headteacher, Robin Chapman added: “We are very pleased with the exam results at Eyemouth High School this year. In particular, the results at Higher are excellent and represent the best scores that students have achieved for very many years. I would like to thank the teachers and students for their hard work to achieve these results, especially as the school was engaging with new Highers for the first time this year. The National 5 results are also good, maintaining the trend of the last four years. In particular I would like to pay tribute to the work of the previous head, Mr David Watson, for the work he has put in at Eyemouth High School over the years to improve examination results before his retirement last April. I look forward to working with staff and students to continue to work hard and achieve in the years to come.”
Councillor Sandy Aitchison, SBC’s executive member for education said: “These results paint a highly positive picture for the young people of the Scottish Borders and are a strong testament to the commitment, dedication and hard work that has been shown over the past year by pupils, teachers, parents and carers alike.
“What these results clearly show is that more young people are leaving education in the Scottish Borders with higher levels of qualifications and attainment and moving on to positive and sustained destinations. We have an increased number of qualifications being achieved by many more young people. Our teachers are more ambitious for our pupils and the adoption of an inclusive approach is providing them with greater employment or higher education opportunities.
“The increased number of pupils receiving A Grade passes at Advanced Higher by 9% and Higher by 4% is to be particularly commended.
“Overall, what we can take from these results is that our young people are working hard, performing well and being better prepared to leave our schools and take their place in the world. My congratulations to everyone who has received results today and on the personal attainment that these represent.”
Councillor Aitchison added: “If a pupil or parent has any queries about their results there are a number of places offering advice. They should phone their school in the first instance and staff will be on hand to help.”