Oban, Lorn and the Isles pupils smarter than average

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The results of the three secondary schools in Oban, Lorn and the Isles in 2019 have been revealed in a new report – and they all have something to celebrate.

Top of the class was Tobermory High School which beat the national averages at two levels of assessment and the local averages for all three.

The school’s Higher pass rate did so despite going from 83.7 per cent to 77.4 per cent.

The Advanced Higher figure was also higher than the local average, although it also fell, from 77.8 per cent to 76.9 per cent.

At National 5 level, the figure went from 83.9 per cent to 80.6 per cent, but again the figure was higher than the Argyll and Bute and Scotland averages.

Oban High School saw an increase in its National 5 pass rate, which rose from 72.8 per cent in 2018 to 73.8 per cent in 2019.

However, the Higher pass rate fell from 75.9 per cent to 70.7 per cent while the Advanced Higher figure saw a steep decline from 84.9 per cent to 51.7 per cent.

Tiree High School saw its Higher pass rate fall from 83.3 per cent to 50 per cent, which was its figure two years ago. The National 5 rate also declined from 81.8 per cent to 67.7 per cent.

The Advanced Higher pass rate was 33.3 per cent. There is nothing to compare it with from 2018, as no pupils took exams at that level 12 months ago.

All three schools had a 100 per cent pass rate for National 4 – the same as the Argyll and Bute average and above the Scottish average.

Douglas Hendry, the council’s executive director with responsibility for education, said: ‘Overall, percentage pass rate data should be interpreted carefully.

‘Schools have policies designed to encourage pupils to achieve success at the highest level of qualification they can.

‘For some pupils this may mean they receive a ‘D’ grade within a qualification level, which is an award.

‘It is also the policy in Argyll and Bute, as with other local authorities, that full discussion and consideration of pupil and parents’ views are reflected in the final decision to continue with a course or whether to sit an external exam.

‘This may result in pupils being given the opportunity to attempt a level they may find challenging to pass as it may be their last opportunity to do, for example in S6.

‘Schools will again offer these pupils the opportunity to sit the exam to improve their positive destination chances, for example, access to higher or further education.’

Mr Hendry also pledged that a further report on educational attainment and wider achievement will go to the community services committee’s next meeting in December.