Exam results evidence of continued high standards across Borders schools

A group of high school pupils hold up their exam result papers

Published: Tuesday, 8th August 2017

As pupils from across the Borders receive their exam results today, there is evidence of improved achievement compared with previous years.

The results also show that our young people are continuing to benefit from the high quality educational opportunities being provided across our schools.

Highlights from the results

Record numbers of Borders pupils were put forward for examinations during 2016/17. Despite a static school roll there were:

  • 723 additional pupils at National 5 level
  • 489 more at Higher level
  • 13 more at Advanced Higher Level

While there were 482 less pupils presented at National 4, this was because they were put forward for the more challenging National 5 award instead.

Overall, more pupils were awarded course awards than last year with an additional:

  • 422 at National 5 level
  • 292 at Higher
  • 10 at Advanced Higher level.

National 5 results saw S5 maintaining last year’s percentage pass rate for five or more National 5 grades A-C. There was also a good performance by S6 pupils with a 3.61 percent increase in the number of leavers with five or more National 5 qualifications.

Higher results demonstrated a strong and improving trend both in S5 and S6, with S6 pupils leaving school with a greater number of qualifications than ever before. There was a 1.4% increase in the number of S5 pupils gaining five or more Highers which represents our highest performance ever with 215 pupils gaining five or more Highers, compared to 197 pupils last year. There was also good news for the number gaining three or more Highers with 455 pupils achieving at this level.

There was a 2.3 percent increase in S6 pupils gaining at least one Higher, with 763 pupils achieving a pass compared to 719 in 2016. Significantly, there was also a 2.67 percent increase in the number of S6 pupils leaving with three or more Highers with 574 pupils attaining more passes in 2017 compared to 530 in 2016.

The Advanced Higher Results show S6 maintaining the year on year positive attainment record with 21% of pupils achieving a qualification.

In terms of positive destinations, Scottish Borders remains in the top quartile nationally, and well above the Scottish average, with an impressive 94.2 percent achieving a positive and sustained destination.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People

“In my first year in the role of elected member, I am delighted to be able to congratulate the young people of the Scottish Borders on the results that have been attained this year. Along with the teachers, parents and carers who have taught, encouraged and supported them to strive for their personal best, they are to be commended for all their hard work and should be very proud of what they have been able to achieve.

“Overall, the picture is extremely encouraging with record numbers of pupils presenting for examinations and more pupils than ever receiving a course award.

“It is particularly pleasing to see that our commitment to supporting young people to achieve a positive destination beyond school continues to pay dividends with an increasing number of our young people being able to leave education with higher levels of qualifications and attainment and move on to positive and sustained destinations.

“As has been the case in previous years, the results also paint a highly positive picture of the learning experience pupils are able to access here in the Borders, while providing continued evidence that the implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence in our schools is giving pupils every opportunity to achieve their highest potential.

“I wish all the young people who have received results today all the very best as they think ahead to their next steps and wish them well with their future goals and aspirations.”

Service Director Children and Young People, Donna Manson

“Last year saw a significant increase in attainment at National level and pleasingly this has translated in to very strong attainment at Higher level this year. I am delighted to see significantly more students being presented for a wide range of qualifications, and that school leavers are gaining a greater number of qualifications than ever before. Our young people are to be congratulated on their success, not just in SQA examinations, but for the wide range of achievements and skills gained during this academic year.”

Advice on the next steps is available

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People

“Waiting on the text or letter that confirms these results is a hugely stressful time for all concerned. Having been through it myself as a parent, my heart goes out to everyone who has been waiting for this day to come and I certainly hope that as many pupils as possible have received the results they were hoping for. If a pupil or parent has any queries about their results, however, 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.”

Support is also available through the Skills Development Scotland helpline on 0808 100 8000. This is open from 8am-8pm on 9 and 10 August and 9am-5pm on weekdays until 12 August. Advisers can provide access to information on UCAS course vacancies at college and universities across the UK, Confirmation and Clearing, advice about Modern Apprenticeships and employment and training opportunities. Additional information is available on the SQA website

More information

  • Quotes from headteachers congratulating pupils are available on our website.
  • Images of pupils opening their results can be found on our Flickr page.