Senior secondary pupils across Argyll and Bute have cause for celebration today after achieving impressive results in their SQA exams.
This spring, for the first time in three years, S4-S6 pupils in Argyll and Bute were presented for examinations. As a result of the pandemic, the last time our young people sat exams was in 2019. Therefore, pupils have had no previous experience of sitting SQA exams, and some had their studies interrupted by the requirements of self-isolation for both pupils and staff.
Nonetheless, results shows that National 5 attainment remains in line with 2019, while Higher and Advanced Higher pass rates have increased by 6.3% and 8% respectively compared to 2019 results. Argyll and Bute pupils’ performances in both Higher and Advanced Higher are above the national average, while for National 4, a 100% pass rate across our schools continues, which is 14% above the national figure.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “I am so proud to see how our young people have coped this year, and, indeed, over the last three years. The way they have adapted to difficult and constantly changing circumstances shows levels of resilience and maturity which are hugely impressive. I admire each and every one of our young people who has received their results today, whether they have achieved what they hoped for or not.
I also want to pay tribute to our teachers and all educational staff who have supported pupils through their studies and prepared then so well to achieve such impressive results. It has been an extremely challenging time for all our education staff, and they have risen to the ever-changing demands and requirements of the last three years with conscientious skill and commitment. Our young people’s achievements are in no small part a result of their tireless efforts, and I express my gratitude to every one of them.
For those young people who feel disappointment today because they have perhaps not achieved the results they were hoping for, I would urge them to remember just how many different pathways to positive post-school destinations now exist – including a huge range of qualifications in school, college or university and apprenticeships. They should speak with the staff in school who can advise and support them, as well as with their school’s Skills Development Scotland Co-ordinator.”
Note to editor
2022 is the first year since 2019 that a diet of SQA exams has been implemented for candidates. In 2020 and 2021, examinations were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In both of these years, alternative assessment arrangements were put in place, and attainment in National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher was seen to increase nationally. It is expected that the reinstatement of examinations will result in a corresponding national fall in attainment from 2021 levels.
Therefore, Argyll and Bute Council will compare 2022 results with 2019 results, rather than 2021 results. As stated, on this basis, National 5 passes are in line with 2019 data, while Higher and Advanced Higher are 6.3% and 8.0% above 2019 levels respectively.