SCHOOL pupils have been praised by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) as they received their qualification results today (August 4) following an unusual academic year.
The coronavirus lockdown meant exams were cancelled, so grades were based on estimates made by teachers.
SBC leader Shona Haslam hailed pupils for having “risen to the challenge” set by the lockdown.
Mrs Haslam said: “This year’s students have been faced with an unprecedented situation and they are to be commended for the remarkable flexibility and resilience that they have shown in the circumstances.”
Around 13,031 exams were sat in the Borders this academic year, with 3,800 at Higher, 555 at Advanced Higher and 6,300 at National 5.
This year, S4 students sitting exams at National 5/SCQF Level 5, with grades ranging from A to C, achieved a pass rate of 85.5 per cent. And overall, attainment at SCQF Levels 1-3 increased.
Borders schools also remain in the top quartile nationally for positive destinations, with 95.99 per cent of students achieving a “positive and sustained destination”.
Mrs Haslam extended her praise and thanks to members of Borders teaching staff.
She said: “Teaching staff have worked extremely hard together with the SQA to make sure that the assessment process has been as fair and transparent as possible and there has been minimal impact on our young people and what they have been able to achieve.
“As a result of that determination, it is encouraging to see that Scottish Borders has attained a set of results which demonstrate a picture of consistent achievement.”
In S4 exams sat in May this year in core subjects such as Literacy and Numeracy, 98 per cent of students achieved a literacy award, with 97 per cent achieving a National 5 English award.
In numeracy, 94 per cent of S4 students received a numeracy award, with 86.3 per cent awarded a National 5 in maths.
Mrs Haslam added: “Exam results day is one of the most momentous events in a young person’s life at the best of times.
“This year’s students have been faced with an unprecedented situation and they are to be commended for the remarkable flexibility and resilience that they have shown in the circumstances.
“It is encouraging to see that our commitment to preparing our young people for their next steps in life continues to pay dividends, with an increasing number of them being able to leave education with higher levels of qualifications and attainment and move on to positive and sustained destinations.”
“Whatever their situation, I’d like to commend the young people of the Scottish Borders on their results and hard work, and thank their teachers, parents and carers for all their support which has been especially important over these past few months.
“I certainly hope that as many as possible of our young people received the results they were hoping for.
“However, for any who didn’t, the first thing to remember is don’t panic.
“There is no wrong pathway for our young people; everyone’s learner journey is different and their school or an organisation like Skills Development Scotland have staff on hand to provide all the reassurance and advice they need.”
Support for pupils can be found here or by calling the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) helpline on 0808 100 8000.
The helpline is open from 8am-8pm on August 4 and then from 8.30am-5pm on August 5-7.
SDS helpline staff can also offer guidance on UCAS and college applications as well as apprenticeships.