Record breaking exam results for Forth Valley pupils despite turmoil of COVID

Pupils in Falkirk saw record-breaking results for National 5 and Highers this year after a turbulent year for pupils and staff.

By Kirsty Paterson
Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 4:30 pm

The Coronovirus crisis meant all exams were cancelled this year and awards were given based on teachers' assessments.

In Falkirk, the number of pupils in S4 who passed five or more exams at SCQF level 5 or better (the old Standard Grade) rose sharply from 44 per cent to 54 per cent.

And those who got five or more awards at SCQF level 4 or better shot up to 88 per cent from 81 per cent in 2019.

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For fifth year pupils, the results were also better than previous years.

In all, 61 per cent got one or more awards at Higher level, an increase on 56 per cent the previous year, while those getting three or more rose to 41 per cent, up from 32 per cent previously.

And 19 per cent of pupils got five or more Higher level awards - an increase on 16 per cent previously.

The results will be presented to Falkirk Council's education, children and young people committee next Wednesday.

But while they make for positive reading, education bosses in Falkirk know that the picture is far from straightforward.

An attempt to moderate the exam results to bring them in line with previous years met a furious backlash as poorer pupils in particular were downgraded.

This meant that all teachers' grades were accepted, leading to a similar picture of high grades across Scotland.

The education committee, which is meeting for the first time since January, will be livestreamed.

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