Pupils overcome barriers to beat national average

Councillor Yvonne McNeilly.

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Argyll and Bute’s exam pass rates are again above the national average, official figures have revealed, as pupils across the area celebrate confirmation of their grades.

Final exam results from the Scottish Qualifications Authority were delivered to around 145,000 pupils across Scotland on Tuesday, August 10.

The pass rate for National 5 in Argyll and Bute in 2021 was 87.33 per cent, which is 1.5 per cent above the national average, while the Higher figure of 90.15 per cent was 2.9 per cent above the national rate.

The Advanced Higher rate of 91.41 per cent is 1.2 per cent above the Scottish average, while all 10 council-run secondary schools maintained their 100 per cent pass rate at National 4 level.

The National 5 pass rate for Argyll and Bute is down by 4.5 per cent on the pass rate for the area in 2020, while the Advanced Higher rate has fallen by 4.48 per cent.

The Higher rate has seen a very small year-on-year decrease of 0.33 per cent..

Tuesday’s confirmation of pupils’ grades follows the publication of provisional results earlier this summer.

For the second year in a row, the exam diet was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with teacher estimates and previous evidence forming the basis for grades awarded.

Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for education, praised the achievements of pupils.

‘Congratulations to each and every one of our senior pupils,’ she said.

‘I never cease to be amazed by the talent and ability shown by our young people here in Argyll and Bute.

‘The last 18 months have been a difficult and uncertain time for everyone but our young people, with the support of their parents and teachers, have overcome any barriers and continued to work hard to achieve success.

‘Their commitment and sheer determination to do well has clearly paid off and I am delighted for them.

‘I know there will be some young people who might be a bit disappointed because they perhaps didn’t get the results they had hoped for, but I want them to know that help and support is available.

‘Exam results are only one way of progressing on to positive destinations.

‘There are many, many ways that young people can access appropriate pathways into work, even if they didn’t get the grades they wanted.

‘Should anyone need further support or advice at this time, I would urge them to get in touch with their school in the first instance.’

Advice is available for pupils by calling the Skills Development Scotland exam results hotline on 0808 100 8000.

A school-by-school breakdown of pass rates is expected to be made available for the next meeting of the council’s community services committee, which is due to be on Thursday, August 26.