Exam results for 2018 evidence of sustained high standards across Borders schools

A group of school pupils and a teacher sit around a table with envelopes in front of them.

Published: Tuesday, 07th August 2018

Well done to all pupils from across the Borders have received their 2018 exam results today, 7 August.

With the results showing a picture of consistent achievement compared with previous years, it is clear that our young people are continuing to benefit from the high quality educational opportunities being provided across the region.

Strong results for literacy and numeracy

Of the young people who sat examinations in May 2018, there has been a particularly positive trend in literacy and numeracy with more young people than ever attaining success: 

  • 98% of S4 achieved a literacy award, an increase of 3% from 2017
  • 97% of S4 achieved a National 5 English award, an increase of 4% from 2017
  • 92% of S4 achieved a numeracy award, an increase of 4.5% from 2017
  • 86.3% of S4 achieved a National 5 award in Maths, an increase of 9% from 2017.

Number of exams taken consistent with 2017 figures

The number of exams taken across the Borders was consistent with 2017:

  • approximately 6,000 at National 5
  • approximately 4,000 at Higher
  • a small increase at Advanced Higher.

Good results at National 5

There has been a significant and positive shift in the number of pupils being accredited in a broader range of subjects at the more challenging National 5/SCQF level 5 award.
The overall pass rate (A-C) for S4 at National 5 remains at 83% but there has been an increase of 1.5% in the number of our young people achieving five National 5s.
Overall, there has been a strong performance at National 5 by S5 pupils with 89% of young people gaining an award compared to 86% in 2017.

Positive trend for Higher results

This year’s Higher results demonstrate a consistently positive trend with the percentage of young people gaining an award at Higher remaining at 85%.

The percentage of young people gaining an award at Higher and an Advanced Higher has similarly stayed at 89%, compared to 2017.

There has also been an increase of 1.5% in the number of S6 pupils leaving with five Highers or more.

Borders in top quartile nationally for positive destinations

In terms of positive destinations, Scottish Borders remains in the top quartile nationally, and well above the Scottish average, with an increase to 95.3% of pupils achieving a positive and sustained destination compared to 94.2% last year.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, SBC’s Executive Member for Children and Young People

“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 a consistent number of pupils presenting for examinations and more pupils than ever receiving a course award.
“It is particularly pleasing to see that our commitment to preparing our young people for their next steps in life continues to pay dividends with an increasing number of them 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. Our thoughts are also with those pupils who must wait until later in the year to hear the outcome of other courses and learning experiences they have undertaken and wish them well as those results become available.”

Service Director Children and Young People, Donna Manson

“My congratulations also go to all our young people who have achieved qualifications today.
“Overall, we are continuing to see a general trend of improvement particularly in Literacy/English and Numeracy/Mathematics. Raising attainment remains a priority focus for us as we are ambitious to ensure that all pupils fulfil their potential, as does our intention to progress with the development of a broader and more modernised curriculum that will be able to respond to the learning needs and aspirations of our young people.
“It is also important to be aware that this data is the first snapshot of attainment and achievement we have for the 2017/18 session, with a fuller picture available later in the year when other accreditation such as college courses and wider achievement awards are finalised.”

Councillor Carol Hamilton, SBC’s 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 also phone their school in the first instance and staff will be on hand to help.”

Need help or advice about your next steps?

As well as your local school, 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.