Falkirk schools are climbing up exam league tables

Peter Wood (S5, Graeme High), Ruth Adams (S5, Larbert High), Christopher Whitton (S5, Falkirk High School) and Jamie Weir (S5, Larbert High). All of whom achieved straight As in their exams.
Peter Wood (S5, Graeme High), Ruth Adams (S5, Larbert High), Christopher Whitton (S5, Falkirk High School) and Jamie Weir (S5, Larbert High). All of whom achieved straight As in their exams.

Local schools failed to crack the Scottish top ten for exam results but most did improve last year.

The Scottish Government say the country’s schools are achieving better exam results than ever before and figures provided by Education Scotland, published on Tuesday, seem to back this statement up.

Locally, Larbert High – 26th in Scotland – was the best performing school in a number of categories and Rector Jon Reid said it was the “icing on the cake” in a great year for the school.

He added: “It is down to the hard work and commitment of our staff and our pupils.”

Overall figures for Scotland show the number of fourth year pupils gaining A to C passes in five level three Standard Grades had risen to 94 per cent, while the number of fifth years passing at least three highers rose slightly to 27 per cent and sixth year pupils achieving the same went up to 36 per cent.

In the Falkirk area 93 per cent of fourth year pupils gained five level three Standard Grades, while 26 per cent of fifth years and 34 per cent of sixth years attained passes in at least three highers.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “This year we saw Scotland’s pupils achieve the best exam results since records began and with the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence we’ve halted years of decline in Scottish education performance.

“Our young people are leaving school better qualified. Higher pass rates rose from 72.9 per cent in 2006 to 78.9 per cent in 2012, demonstrating the strengths of our broad based education.

“However, we are not complacent and where improvement is required Education Scotland provides specific inspection and support to raise standards.”

An Education Scotland spokes­man added: “A simple listing of schools by a particular attainment level does not represent the diverse nature and quality of education provided by Scotland’s schools.

“Many schools that rank at the bottom for exam performance are rated by school inspectors as among the best in Scotland.

“Poverty is a key indicator of how pupils perform in exams, so tables also give the figure for the proportion of pupils receiving free school meals.”

The figures show teaching staff levels, pupil numbers and rates of free meals uptake. Figures showing the number of absences and attendance rates are also included.

The top performing school in the country was Williamwood High in East Renfrewshire and, while no schools in the Falkirk area made it into the top ten, the majority of them improved upon their results from last year.

Larbert High was the top school in the area in terms of percentage of pupils gaining five level three Standard Grades – however, the 96 per cent they achieved in 2011/12 was down from the impressive 100 per cent they enjoyed back in 2010/11.

The worst school in the area in this category was Grangemouth High, which saw 87 per cent of pupils gain five or more level three Standard Grades – the school did improve on last year’s figure of 84 per cent though.

Larbert High again had the biggest percentage of fifth year pupils gaining three or more highers. The school’s 42 per cent placed them well ahead of other schools in the area – their nearest rival was Falkirk High with 33 per cent.

The school with the worst percentage of fifth years gaining three highers was Denny High at 18 per cent.

Once again Larbert High topped the local percentages with 48 per cent of sixth years gaining three highers. The worst results were from Grangemouth High with 25 per cent.

The Scottish percentages for the number of pupils taking unauthorised absences from school stood at 2.7 per cent for 2010/11 – the same figure for schools in the Falkirk area.

The school with the biggest percentage of pupils taking unauthorised absences was Grangemouth High at 4.2 per cent, ahead of Falkirk High and Graeme High at 4.0 and 3.6 per cent respectively.

Visit www.educationscotland.gov.uk for details on all schools in the area.