HEAD teachers from across the region have expressed their delight after exam results went live this week.

More exams than ever before were taken in Borders schools this year.

And the pass rates held high with 96 percent of all S4s gaining National 5 English, and 82 percent achieving National 5 maths.

There was also a significant increase of young people gaining qualifications at SCQF Levels 1-3 across the region.

Although breakdowns for individual schools won't be publicly available for another few weeks, headteachers have praised the efforts of their students.

Kevin Ryalls, head of Galashiels Academy, told us: "We would like to recognise the notable individual achievements of many of our young people, including almost all of our S4 pupils who achieved at least five National Qualifications.

"We also saw an increase in the number of young people achieving Higher passes in S5.

"We would like to recognise the hard work and perseverance shown by our senior pupils, staff and parents and carers during the SQA exams.

"We congratulate our young people for their SQA examinations successes, as well as for the wide variety of achievements that have also been accomplished across the wider life of the school in the last session."

The destinations of school leavers in the Borders also remains encouraging with 96.7 percent going into higher-, further-education, training or employment - an increase from last year's 95.3 percent.

Justin Sinclair, headteacher at Earlston High, said: "I am delighted with the performance of our pupils in this year’s SQA examinations.

"We have had a record breaking year, particularly in S5. I want to pay tribute to the hard work of all our pupils and staff.

"The number of young people attaining qualifications from college is also exceptionally encouraging.

"Our record of continuous improvement and focus on excellence for all is evident in these superb results.”

Jedburgh Grammar also saw an increase in pass rates this year.

Head teacher Susan Oliver told us: "In addition to outstanding individual performances across qualification levels, a highlight of this year’s SQA results is an increase in the number of Highers and Advanced Highers our young people are leaving school with.

"We would like to congratulate all of our pupils on their achievements and thank parents, staff, partner agencies and our community for their ongoing support.”

But results day is all about the pupils.

Months of revision was put to the test during the spring.

And for many the results will determine their next move.

At Galashiels Academy, the pains of revision and exams were worthwhile for the vast majority of students.

Cameron Beatt gained three Advanced Highers to go with last year's haul of five Highers.

The former St Peter's Primary pupil told us: "I have just had the news that I have passed my Advanced Highers in Maths, Chemistry and Business.

"I have a place at Strathclyde University where I will be studying for a degree in Accountancy and Finance."

Fifth year pupil Rosie McLeman was also delighted after achieving five As.

She said: "I realise now that all the hard work I had put in was completely worth it and now I have the option to go to university and study medicine.

"I am so thankful for all the support from my friends, family and teachers which if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be able to achieve my goals."

And S4 pupils Dylan Curran, Jordyn Kinsella and Emma Templeton were also overjoyed on Tuesday morning.

Dylan said: "I spent a lot of time on revising for the subjects I chose this year and I’m glad that I got the results I hoped for."

Emma added: "I am very pleased with my results, all my hard work has paid off!"

The good news also reached Greece where Galashiels pupil Ellie Glendinning is on holiday.

The teenager said: "I wasn’t very sure if I would be able to receive my results as I'm in Paxos.

"Luckily they came through and I was very happy with them and I’m quite proud of them as it shows my studying paid off."

At Earlston the mood was just as good.

Head Boy Finlay Dodds said: "I am delighted with my results.

"All the hard work paid off.

"I couldn’t have done it without the support from my teachers.”

Fellow sixth-year pupil Mia Presslie added: "I am extremely proud of myself and my results.

"The early start to revision was worth it!”

Councillor Carol Hamilton, who is responsible for education, spent Tuesday morning at Eyemouth High School with pupils as they received their results by text and post.

She said: “For some, the results they receive today will be vital in getting a place at university, but for many others they will just be one small step towards a job, a Modern Apprenticeship, further education or simply being able to take their preferred subjects and qualifications in their next school year.

“Whatever their situation, I’d like to commend the young people of the Scottish Borders on their results and hard work this year, and thank their teachers, parents and carers for their support."