Falkirk Council: Praise for pupils and staff for SQA exam results

Councillors heard the latest on local attainment figures this week.  (Pic: Falkirk Council)Councillors heard the latest on local attainment figures this week.  (Pic: Falkirk Council)
Councillors heard the latest on local attainment figures this week. (Pic: Falkirk Council)
Falkirk’s acting head of education has praised pupils and staff for their resilience as she reported another year of good results for local high schools.

Rhona Jay told Falkirk Council’s education, children and young people executive: “The recovery from the pandemic is ongoing. Currently, the only year groups of children who have not had their education disrupted or impacted by the pandemic are our current nursery age children, our Primary One and our Primary Two children. As such the efforts, achievements and resilience of our young people are all the more commendable.”

Mrs Jay was presenting this year’s SQA results to the committee. Comparison with recent year’s results is difficult as exams were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 as a result of Covid and alternative certification was used. The disruption that all pupils have experienced was reflected in adjustments made to assessments, both this year and last.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Members also heard that many schools had also offered extra support to pupils, including lunchtime or after-school study support clubs. There has also been targeted support for at-risk students, offered through one to one support, study clubs and peer mentoring.

This year in Falkirk, the total number of entries for National 5s increased by 2.7 per cent when compared with last year. The total number of entries at Higher decreased by 1.5 per cent, and the total number entries at Advanced Higher remained the same when compared with 2022.

Nationally, the total number of entries for National 5s increased by 3.6 per cent, compared with 2022. The number of entries at Higher increased by 1.9 per cent, while Advanced Higher entries decreased by 1.7 per cent.

This year, 89 per cent of children got five or more awards at SCQF Level 4, a rise of eight per cent on pre-pandemic levels, while 93 per cent achieved at least five SCQF Level 3 awards.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In National 5 exams, 43 per cent of S4 pupils got more than five passes (A-C), which was slightly lower than last year but in line with pre-covid years.

For pupils in S5, 57 per cent got at least one Higher, 35 per cent at least three and 19 per cent got five or more, which compared well even with pandemic years.

By the end of S6, 44 per cent of pupils had three or more Highers and 31 per cent had five or more, while 20 per cent had at least one Advanced Higher.

Many senior pupils will have achieved other qualifications, such as Foundation Apprenticeships, National Progression Awards and Higher National Certificates (HNCs) but these results are not yet available.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mrs Jay told members that individual schools would now look very closely at the results to find any areas that could be improved on.

And she reminded them: “It’s always pertinent to remember that these are different cohorts of young people, so there will also be a variance.”

SNP councillor Iain Sinclair, the education portfolio holder, congratulated pupils on the results and said the report showed a “solid foundation” for schools, although the challenge brought by the pandemic remains evident.

He said: “What this report shows is the resilience of pupils and the work that they have put in to get this stage and to achieve what they have on these national qualifications. It also shows the great support and the work of teachers and staff right across the board.”

A fuller report containing results for all the different qualifications achieved by pupils will be presented next March.