Exam results success

Pupils celebrate 'record' year of achievements

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Thousands of senior pupils across North Lanarkshire received their exam results today, Tuesday 4 August, and it was a particularly strong showing in several key areas.

Pupils were unable to sit exams this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. So grades this year for National 5s, Higher and Advanced Highers were based on teacher estimates, built around prelim results and submitted course work.

These estimates were submitted to SQA by schools and colleges across Scotland by 29 May.

Initial findings show that it's the best-ever set of results for pupils achieving five or more national 5 qualifications in S4, one or more Highers in S5 and one or more Highers in S6.

Headline figures show:

  • S4 data shows that the authority has seen improvements over last year in pupils achieving 5 or more awards in Nat 3, Nat 4 and Nat 5 with 42.8% of pupils achieving the latter, our highest figure since 2014.
  • In S5 the authority also saw an increase over last year in pupils achieving at least 1 Higher or more, rising from 56.9% to 57.2%. This is also our highest figure since 2014.
  • For those achieving 3 or more Highers in S5 the percentage has remained the same as last year at 32.6% which has remained fairly consistent over the last 5 years.
  • There was a small increase in pupils achieving 5 or more Higher in S5 rising from 11.7% to 11.9%.
  • In S6 there was an increase of 3% in those achieving 1 or more Higher, rising from 67.2% to 70.2%. This is our highest figure since 2014.
  • The percentage of pupils achieving 3 or more Highers in S6 also saw an increase, rising from 41.1% to 41.9%. This figure has remained fairly consistent over the last 5 years with an average of 41.7%.
  • For those achieving 5 or more Highers in S6 there was a small decrease of only 0.1% from 27.3% to 27.2%. Our 5 year average for this is 27.4% so this year is still remaining fairly consistent.
  • Pupils achieving 1 or more Advanced Highers in S6 saw a decent increase of 2.6% from 14.4% to 17%, our second highest figure since 2014.

Councillor Frank McNally, Convener of Education and Families, said: "While this year's exam were undeniably affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the achievements of our young people are in no way diminished.

"The successes of so many of our pupils reflects the hard work and effort they have put in throughout the academic term - albeit one which was curtailed by the health crisis. Their achievements have been supported by the dedication and professionalism of their teachers along with the patience, encouragement and understanding of their families.

"For those young people who have not achieved the results they had hoped for, or have any questions, you should contact your school in the first instance for support and guidance."

The SQA also has an advice line, which can be contacted on 0345 279 1000. It is open Tuesday, August 4 and Wednesday 5 from 8am to 6pm and Friday, August 7 from 8:30am to 5pm. Alternatively you can email customer@sqa.org.uk.

Derek Brown, Executive Director of Education and Families, said: "This year has been quite different for so many reasons and that makes the successes of our young people all the more significant.

"Our young people are increasingly better qualified and able to open up a wider range of Higher Education and Further Education pathways, as well as into the workplace directly.

"It's important to remember that there is so much support available to our pupils allowing them to choose the route  that suits them best.

"This could be moving directly into the world of work, gaining qualifications while working, choosing an apprenticeship, studying at college, gaining the qualifications to go on to university, or any varying combination of these."

The exam results are prior to appeals and clerical checks and many pupils may feel that they wish to challenge these results through the system to a greater extent than in previous years.

Every August the Skills Development Scotland contact centre sets up a results helpline.

The Results Helpline will be open on August 4 and 5 from 8am to 8pm, August 6 and 7 from 9am-5pm and August 10 to 12 from 9am-5pm.

Bringing together a team of SDS's professionally qualified careers advisers from across Scotland, the helpline offers unique access to information on UCAS course vacancies at college and universities across the UK, Confirmation and Clearing, advice about Modern Apprenticeships, employment and training opportunities.

The free helpline number is 0808 100 8000.

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