BORDERS school pupils receiving their exam results have been praised by the council for their “flexibility and resilience” after another challenging academic year.

Young people across the region found out their official grades today (Tuesday, August 10).

Formal exams were cancelled for a second consecutive year due to the coronavirus pandemic – with senior pupils sitting a number of assessments in May.

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Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for young people, Carol Hamilton, said: “Once again our young people have been faced with an unprecedented set of circumstances and the results achieved today are testament to the remarkable flexibility and resilience that they have shown.

“Our teaching staff have again worked extremely hard together with the SQA to ensure the assessment process has been as fair and transparent as possible and there has been minimal impact on our young people and what they have been able to achieve. As a result, it is encouraging to see that Scottish Borders has attained a set of results which demonstrate a picture of consistent achievement.”

Across the Borders this year, around 13,000 exams were sat in total – approximately 4,086 at Higher, 614 at Advanced Higher and a small drop at National 5 to 5,977.

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The overall pass rate (A-C) for S4 pupils at SCQF Level 5 has improved in 2021 by three per cent to 88.3 per cent.

The overall attainment at SCQF Level 6 “remains broadly in line” with previous years at 85.4 per cent.

The Borders remains in the top quartile nationally, and well above the Scottish average, for positive destinations at 94.64 per cent.

Of the young people who were assessed in May 2021 in the core skills areas of literacy and numeracy:

  • 99 per cent of S4 achieved a literacy award
  • 99 per cent of S4 achieved a National 5 English award
  • 91 per cent of S4 achieved a numeracy award
  • 85 per cent of S4 achieved a National 5 award in a maths course

Mrs Hamilton, of the Conservatives, added: “As always, it is impossible to compare year-to-year as courses and exams change, as do the pupils sitting them.

“This has become particularly difficult during COVID with this year’s results, for example, being based on the third different model of assessment meaning that any comparison with previous years attainment should be done with an even greater degree of caution.”