High marks for Borders schools in exams test

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THREE Borders secondary schools have come out top of the class in the latest exam results.

Earlston, Peebles and Selkirk were significantly above the national average for Standard Grade and Higher performances in 2010/11.

But the attainment gap between the top performing Borders schools and those with traditionally poorer results in the region remains clear.

Unauthorised absences – which include truancy – were higher in the Borders than the rest of Scotland.

In the first year of its new school building, Earlston High saw 40 per cent of its fifth-year students pass three or more Highers, slightly down on the previous year but still the best in the Borders and well above the Scottish average.

As the biggest secondary school in the region, Peebles managed a 98 per cent pass rate for fourth-year students gaining five or more Standard Grades.

But the Springwood Road facility was above the national norm for unauthorised absences, with an average Peebles student missing 12 half-days without explanation.

At Galashiels Academy, that figure was 18 half-days and only 18 per cent of its S5 roll managed to achieve three or more Highers – a fall of nine per cent from 2009/10. But the performance of its sixth-year pupils improved.

Hawick High was also above the Scottish mean for unauthorised absences and had the most pupils receiving free meals in the Borders.

However, the Teviotdale school also saw an improvement from 12 per cent to 21 per cent for its fifth-year Higher results.

The average school pupil at Selkirk High only missed one day of term through unauthorised absences, among the lowest in the country.

Secondary school reports

S4 Pupils getting five or S5 Pupils getting three

more Standard Grades or more Highers

(per cent) (per cent)

Earlston High 94 40

Galashiels Academy 87 18

Hawick High 87 21

Jedburgh Grammar 93 21

Kelso High 92 36

Peebles High 98 38

Selkirk High 97 38

Scottish average 93 26

Unauthorised

absences (S1 to S5)

(per cent)

Earlston High 1.5

Galashiels Academy 4.8

Hawick High 2.9

Jedburgh Grammar 2.5

Kelso High 1

Peebles High 3.2

Selkirk High 0.3

Scottish average 2.7

Free school

meals

(per cent)

Earlston High 7.6

Galashiels Academy 11.9

Hawick High 12.7

Jedburgh Grammar 8.8

Kelso High 10.5

Peebles High 6.6

Selkirk High 7.9

Scottish average 15.2