Education: Near-record results for Scottish pupils

Exam results for Scottish schools are up this year for both Standard grades and Highers. They are published amid threats of a teachers' boycott of a new system of Higher exams due to be introduced next summer
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The Independent Online
SCOTTISH EXAMINATION results published today are some of the last before a major reform of sixth forms north of the border. The Highers known to generations of Scottish schoolchildren are due to be replaced in August next year by a controversial new system of examinations, known as Higher Still.

Under the new scheme, the single set of Higher exams will be replaced with Highers at five levels, ranging from access to advanced higher. The reform is designed to cater for students of all abilities as sixth form staying-on rates increase.

The move is in stark contrast to English education policy, where ministers have refused to replace the "gold standard" A-level with a broader-based system.

Teachers are threatening to boycott the new "building block" system of exams, due to start on 1 December. The Scottish Education Minister, Helen Liddell, met union leaders earlier this week in an attempt to defuse the row, which centres on claims that the new system will increase teachers' workloads.

Overall, Standard and Higher results reached near-record levels this year, with Higher pass rates hitting 69 per cent. Standard grade results were also up, with the percentage of students gaining the top two grades at 39.4 per cent.

Schools are ranked according to their Standard grade results.

Today's results show the percentage of 15-year-olds at each school in Scotland who achieved five or more Standard grade exams at grade one or two - roughly the equivalent of A to C grades in the English and Welsh GCSEs.

The tables also show the percentage of 16-year-olds gaining three or more Highers at grade A to C.

Highers are Scottish school leavers' passport to university entry, like A-levels south of the border, but they are taken a year earlier than most English teenagers take their A-levels.

Scottish school leavers regularly take five or more Highers, rather than the three A-levels which are standard in England.

Table of results omitted