Borders pupils are riding high in exams

Opening their results at Selkirk High School on Tuesday were, from left: Gina Mackenzie, Niamh Dolan, Leuan Chamberlain and Eve Mackenzie.Opening their results at Selkirk High School on Tuesday were, from left: Gina Mackenzie, Niamh Dolan, Leuan Chamberlain and Eve Mackenzie.
Opening their results at Selkirk High School on Tuesday were, from left: Gina Mackenzie, Niamh Dolan, Leuan Chamberlain and Eve Mackenzie.
As pupils from across the Borders received their exam results today, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for education and lifelong learning paid tribute to the region’s young people and has encouraged them all to continue to push to reach their full potential.

The results are the first snapshot of attainment and achievement for the 2022/23 session, ahead of a fuller picture becoming available later in the year when other accreditation such as college courses, other qualifications and wider achievement awards are finalised.

The total number of exams sat across the Borders this year has increased from 13,010 in 2022 to 13400, with 3,693 at Higher, 553 at Advanced Higher and the highest ever number of National 5 at 6,411.

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Schools continue to accredit a broad range of subjects and qualifications at the more challenging SCQF Level 5 and 6 award, with 2,739 young people gaining qualifications at SCQF Levels 2-4. The overall pass rate (A-C) for S4 pupils at SCQF Level 5 in 2023 has remained consistent with the region’s performance in 2022 at 81.3%. The S5 attainment at SCQF Level 6 remains in line with 2022 at 79.1%.                                                                                        

Councillor Leagh DouglasCouncillor Leagh Douglas
Councillor Leagh Douglas

In terms of positive destinations, Scottish Borders remains in the top quartile nationally, with an increase from last year to 96.65% of young people achieving a positive and sustained destination. This is the highest percentage over the last five years.

Of the young people who sat examinations in May 2023 in the core skills areas of literacy and numeracy, more young people than in previous years are attaining success:

  • 97.3% of S4 achieved a literacy award;
  • 96% of S4 achieved a National 5 English award;
  • 91% of S4 achieved a numeracy award; and
  • 83% of S4 achieved a National 5 award in Maths

Councillor Leagh Douglas was at Selkirk High School with pupils as they received their results.

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Councillor Leagh DouglasCouncillor Leagh Douglas
Councillor Leagh Douglas

She said: “I am delighted to be able to congratulate the young people of the Borders on the results that have been achieved this year. Praise, too, must be given to the teachers, parents and carers who have taught, encouraged and supported them to strive and achieve their personal best.

“Whether the results received today are a step towards a job, a Modern Apprenticeship, further education, university or to further study in their next school year, it is important to remember that every pupil is different, with their own ambitions and aims. It is therefore particularly pleasing and exciting to see that in terms of positive destinations, our schools have seen a remarkable 96.65% of young people achieving a positive and sustained destination – the highest percentage over the last five years.”

David Robertson, Chief Executive, Scottish Borders Council has also paid tribute to the regions young people and added: “I’d like to congratulate the young people on their achievements this year and also pay tribute to our teachers and school staff who throughout the school year, work hard to encourage, support and teach. As has been the case in previous years, the results paint a highly positive picture of the learning experience pupils are able to access here in the Borders”.