Education chiefs have hailed the efforts of Angus and Aberdeenshire youngsters as the fruits of their exam labours dropped into front door and electronic mailboxes this morning.
After an anxious wait, tens of thousands of pupils received the results of National and Higher grade examinations on Tuesday, many opting to avoid the agony of waiting on the postie by receiving a text through their own SQA account.
Headline figures for Angus and Aberdeenshire have revealed some impressive statistics this year.
Early Angus indications are that candidates have once again improved on their performances in many areas from last year and that the overall good performance of local schools has been maintained.
Highlights include an improvement on last year’s good performance in National 5, with a 2.4% increase in S4 pupils receiving 5 passes (A, B or C) at National 5 in S5. This is the highest level recorded in Angus for six years.
There has also been very good progress in young people receiving 5 Highers in S5. This figure is up 20% from last year and is again the highest level recorded in Angus for the last six years.
Across the district, 30 young people achieved five As in Highers in S5, an increase from 17 young people in 2015.
Angus children and learning convener, Councillor Sheena Welsh said: “Early indications from the SQA exam results show that this year has been another really positive year for our children and young people.
“It’s a real achievement to have not only sustained but built on the successes of last year.
“I also want to congratulate all our teaching staff on their commitment to delivering learning experiences of the highest standards.
“Our pupils should be very proud of themselves too – all their hard work has certainly paid off and praise should also go to parents and carers who have supported their children over the past year.”
Aberdeenshire figures show a 5% increase in S6 pupils leaving school with five or more Highers.
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s education, learning and leisure committee, Councillor Alison Evison, said: “Senior pupils in Aberdeenshire have put a huge amount of work into studying for these exams and I hope they see that paying off today as they receive their results.
“These results will come at pivotal points in many young people’s lives, but it’s important to remember they are not the end of a path but the start of a new journey.
“Many pupils also have a range of wider achievements which combine with their exam results to prepare them for that journey.
“Our pupils can now use their results to look forward and plan, supported by their friends, school communities, carers and families.”
The council continues to use a programme called Insight to monitor attainment in schools throughout the year.
Data for this year’s results is compared against the results from the previous year using ‘legacy measures’ over a number of key areas.
The percentage of S4 pupils awarded five or more National 5 qualifications this year stands at 48% – a 3% rise on 2015.
In S5, the percentage of pupils awarded three or more Highers in one sitting has also risen slightly, from 38% in 2015 to 39% in 2016.
And there has been a marked improvement in the percentage of S6 pupils achieving five or more Highers by the end of S6, which has risen by 5% from 29% last year to 34% in 2016.
The number of pupils who gained five Highers at grade A was 98 this year compared to 94 in 2015.
Senior students in Aberdeenshire continue to go on to positive destinations once they leave school, whether that’s further or higher education, to a training place or directly into employment.
In 2014/2015 95.9% of pupils went on to positive destinations, a 2% increase on the previous year and 3% higher than the Scottish average.
There were significant improvements in the percentage of Looked After school leavers who secured a positive destination – 90%, up from 73% the previous year.