Angus Council’s education convener has said exam results are not the be-all and end-all of success.
Derek Wann said the challenge in Angus is to stop using words like “academic path” or “vocational learning” to describe the routes learners choose to take.
Traditionally, the focus of senior phase attainment has come in August with the SQA results.
It does not include data for all other learning accredited via the SCQF which does not conclude until the final update in February in the following year.
Mr Wann said as the qualification offer becomes more diverse, evaluating a local authority or a school performance on August data alone “has become far less meaningful”.
Statistics show in Angus in 2018, the percentage of leavers attaining literacy and numeracy, was 87.65% at level four, and 67.27% at level five, against 85.57% and 60.2% respectively in 2014.
The figure for those attaining literacy alone at level four in 2018 is 93.15%, which is a fall from 94.63% in 2014.
The statistics for level five show an increase from 73.43% in 2014 to 80.70%, both of which are below the national 2018 figures of 94.30% for level four and 81.67% for level five.
Mr Wann said: “As we work to expand our early learning and childcare provision, and by shifting the focus of SQA attainment in August to overall attainment in February, we have, at the heart of our thinking, that effective learning can transform lives.
“This approach to lifelong learning will support the development of excellent schools, strong families and healthy communities and businesses.
“SQA exam results are important information for schools to consider in their improvement planning as when considered in groupings, it shows which subjects and departments performed well or not that session.
“I am also delighted that the report shows that the continued focus on attainment of three or more qualifications at SCQF level 6 sees year-on-year improvement.
“However, these must be seen in the context of this February report which highlights that a positive educational experience is about so much more than exam results.”
The #nowrongpath initiative aims to support an increased awareness that there are many routes out of school into further education, training or employment.
In Angus that now extends into the provision of senior phase learning in schools, for example the bespoke Angus Council supported programme ‘Angus Works’ programme, one day a week for 22 weeks in a working environment.