Numeracy and literacy improving at Borders schools

Pupils from Eyemouth High School and across the Borders have been improving, according to new data.
Pupils from Eyemouth High School and across the Borders have been improving, according to new data.

Consistent improvement in the percentage of senior secondary school pupils achieving numeracy and literacy standards have been noted in for the Scottish Borders.

However, Scottish Borders Council is committed to ensuring even more pupils succeed and are sufficiently prepared for further and higher education and for the world of work.

A new ‘Raising Attainment’ policy will be produced for the next school year, which will build on new comparison data the council is receiving on pupil performance, which will be used to benchmark attainment against comparator and national performance data.

A report on the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) data was given to the education committee yesterday.

The percentage of S4 pupils achieving literacy and numeracy at level four (National 4) was 82 per cent in 2014, up from 67 per cent in 2012. At National 5 level, 39 per cent of S4 pupils also passed certain modules within English and maths, also considerably up on the 2012 figure of 26 per cent.

A 10 per cent increase in the number of S5 pupils achieving numeracy and literacy modules at National 4 level has also been noted in 2014 compared to 2012, and almost half of S5 pupils (based on the S4 roll the previous year) passed the modules.

Consistent improvements were also reported in the number of S6 pupils achieving passes at National 5 and Higher level in 2014.

However in some areas the performance was below that recorded at a national level, and in a new ‘virtual comparator’ authority.

Councillor Sandy Aitchison, executive member for education, said: “The figures from the SQA show that Scottish Borders Council is continuing to provide an excellent education to our young people, and more than ever are achieving success in numeracy and literacy.

“However we are not complacent and there are areas that we can improve on to ensure that as many of our young people as possible are achieving at the same or higher level as their peers across the country.”

A national online comparison tool - INSIGHT - has been developed and allows education officers and teachers to analyse, compare and improve performance of pupils in the senior phase of secondary school.