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Revised results lead to big rises in exams success at Highlands' schools

By Gavin Musgrove

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There was a significant rise in attainment in the latest S4, S5 and S6 SQA awards at the Highlands' secondary schools, final figures have revealed.

The initial results, released on August 4, showed that the SQA’s moderation process had led to many changes – mainly grades being reduced – to the estimates submitted by teachers.

All high schools in the region had instances of grades being lowered with Grantown Grammar School's results being hit hard.

Despite the large number of downgrades created by the SQA’s initial moderation process – nearly a quarter of all grades awarded were downgraded from the estimate, the first run of results showed increases in attainment in the Highlands and nationally.

But the revised attainment results taking into account the revised grades reveal revealed today show:

* 52.1 per cent of S4 students achieved five or more National 5 awards (up from 46.2 per cent in 2019);

* 23.5 per cent of S5 students achieved 5 or more Highers (up from 21.9 per cent in 2019); and

* 39.2 per cent of S6 candidates achieved at least one award at Advanced Higher (up 1.2 per cent in 2019).

Councillor John Finlayson, chair of the council's education committee, said: “I wish to congratulate our young people, their families and our school staff across Highland for the significant improvement trends in attainment in S4, S5 and S6 year groups.

"This is an excellent result and it is a real achievement to see our schools focus on individual young people which makes a difference at the individual, school, and council level to results and exam performance.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced that SQA moderated grades would be replaced by the originally estimated grades submitted by teachers.

The U-turn came after a political row broke out in the wake of the results being issued with exam pupils from more deprived areas have more grades lowered by the SQA.

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