Falkirk area high school pupils praised for exam performances amid pandemic disruption

High school pupils across the Falkirk area have earned praise for the grades they have achieved amid the pandemic.

By Jonathon Reilly
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 4:45 pm

The 2021 SQA exam results were confirmed this week and, despite the challenges presented by a blend of in-school and at-home learning, youngsters have produced a “positive” set of marks.

Senior education figures and teaching staff alike have been impressed by the effort secondary school pupils throughout the region have put in over the past academic year.

However, unlike many other local authorities across Scotland, Falkirk Council has said it is unable to provide statistics on grades until at least next month.

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Catriona Reid, Bo'ness Academy headteacher, lavished praise on Falkirk district's secondary school pupils for their SQA exam performances. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Councillor Adanna McCue, portfolio holder for education at Falkirk Council, said: “The SQA results indicate positive outcomes for our senior pupils which have been achieved despite the disruption caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“These results have been achieved during very challenging times with both education staff and pupils going the extra mile to ensure learning continued with a mix of in-school and remote learning.

“Well done to everyone involved and to families who have supported pupils during home learning!

“A full analysis will be undertaken and a detailed report will be published in September.”

Catriona Reid, Bo’ness Academy headteacher, said: “Despite all of the challenges that we’ve had over the past session, we are extremely proud of all our pupils and the results they have achieved.

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In pictures: Primary 7 classes of 2021 from Falkirk district schools.

“This is testament to the huge effort made by so many of our pupils during the periods of remote learning and the continued commitment of all of our staff.”

A council spokeswoman said it’s “too early” for the region’s exam pass rates to be broken down due to the “substantial quantity of data to analyse”.

The spokeswoman added: “However, a fully detailed report will be presented to elected members in the near future.”

Nationally, the number of Scottish students being offered a place at Scottish universities reached a record high on SQA results day, up 10 per cent to 31,070.

University application service UCAS data shows the number of acceptances from the 20 per cent most deprived areas in Scotland to UK universities increased by 7 per cent to 4700, which was also a new record.

This year’s statistics also currently highlight a 56 per cent decrease, as at SQA results day on Tuesday, in the number of acceptances to Scottish universities from applicants based in EU countries.

Michael Matheson, Falkirk West MSP, said: “Congratulations to all those who have been studying under very challenging circumstances over the past 18 months.

“Congratulations to all those who have secured a place at university. I am very pleased to see that there is a record high of Scottish students being offered a place at Scottish universities, and a record high of people from deprived areas being offered a place at university.

“It is excellent to see progress that young people have an equal chance of success no matter their background.

“I am disappointed to see a 56 per cent decrease in students from EU countries coming to learn at Scottish universities due to Brexit.

“EU citizens are incredibly important in contributing to our economic, cultural, and social links. I hope to see a return of EU students to our

world-leading universities.

“University is not only the one path available for students, with courses available at college or participating in modern apprenticeships being other paths for learners to pursue.

“If you are disappointed with your results or not sure of what your options are, the SQA’s appeals process is now open. The clearing process is also now live and places are still available for those who want to study in Scotland.”

Call the Skills Development Scotland Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000.

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