Exam results show continued success across Borders schools

Published: 8th August 2023

Selkirk High exam results 2023
Selkirk High exam results 2023

As pupils from across the Borders receive confirmation of their exam results today, our Executive Member for Education and Lifelong Learning has paid tribute to the region's young people.

Councillor Leagh Douglas has also encouraged them all to continue to push to reach their full potential in whatever they do next.

Attainment and achievement

Today's results are the first snapshot of attainment and achievement for the 2022/23 session, ahead of a fuller picture becoming available later in the year when other accreditation such as college courses, other qualifications and wider achievement awards are finalised in the data.

The total number of exams sat across the Borders this year has increased from 13,010 in 2022 to 13,400, with 3,693 at Higher, 553 at Advanced Higher and the highest ever number of National 5 at 6,411.

Schools continue to accredit a broad range of subjects and qualifications at the more challenging SCQF Level 5 and 6 award, with 2,739 young people gaining qualifications at SCQF Levels 2-4. The overall pass rate (A-C) for S4 pupils at SCQF Level 5 in 2023 has remained consistent with our performance in 2022 at 81.3 percent. The S5 attainment at SCQF Level 6 remains in line with 2022 at 79.1 percent.

In terms of positive destinations, Scottish Borders remains in the top quartile nationally, with an increase from last year to 96.65 percent of young people achieving a positive and sustained destination. This is the highest percentage over the past five years.

Of the young people who sat examinations in May 2023 in the core skills areas of Literacy and Numeracy, more young people than in previous years are attaining success:

  • 97.3 percent of S4 achieved a literacy award
  • 96 percent of S4 achieved a National 5 English award
  • 91 percent of S4 achieved a numeracy award
  • 83 percent of S4 achieved a National 5 award in Maths

Councillor Leagh Douglas, Executive Member for Education and Lifelong Learning

"I am delighted to be able to congratulate the young people of the Scottish Borders on the results that have been achieved this year. Praise too must be given to the teachers, parents and carers who have taught, encouraged and supported them to strive and achieve their personal best.

"Whether the results achieved today are a step towards a job, a Modern Apprenticeship, further education, university or to further study in their next school year, it is important to remember that every pupil is different with their own ambitions and aims. It is therefore particularly pleasing and exciting to see that in terms of positive destinations, our schools have seen a remarkable 96.65 percent of young people achieving a positive and sustained destination - the highest percentage over the last five years."

David Robertson, Chief Executive

"I would like to add my congratulations to our young people on their achievements this year and also pay tribute to our teachers and school staff who, throughout the school year, work hard to encourage, support and teach.

"As has been the case in previous years, the results paint a highly positive picture of the learning experience pupils are able to access here in the Borders."

Support and advice is available

  • Pupil support information is available on our website.
  • The Skills Development Scotland helpline 0808 100 8000 is open from 8am-8pm on 8-9 August and 9am-5pm on 10-11 August. Advisers can provide access to information on UCAS course vacancies at college and universities across the UK, confirmation and clearing, Modern Apprenticeships and other employment and training opportunities.
  • Additional information is available on the SQA website and on My World of Work website.  

More information