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Education / Exam pass rates remain above average

PASS rates for graded school qualifications in Shetland are sitting above average this year as pupils receive their results today (Tuesday).

Around 600 secondary pupils are getting their results by text, email or post from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Flight delays at Sumburgh Airport due to fog has caused a late arrival of mail, including some exam results. But postal deliveries are expected to most, if not all, of Shetland this afternoon.

Brae High School for instance said anyone who does receive their results in the post today can either attend or phone the school, with staff on hand to share their results.

Pupils completed exams for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications for this first time since 2019. 

The return to the exam diet this year followed two years of awarding through an alternative certification model, when the Scottish Government cancelled exams due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s pass rates for graded qualifications in Shetland however are down slightly on last year, when no formal exams took place. This also reflects a national trend.

The A-C pass rate at National 5 in Shetland this year is 86.6 per cent. In 2019, this figure was 82.3 per cent. The Scottish average this year is 80.8 per cent.

The A-C pass rate at Higher is 79.5 per cent, with the Scottish average 78.9 per cent. In 2019, the Shetland figure was 81.9 per cent.

The A-C pass rate at Advanced Higher is 88.2 per cent. In 2019, this figure was 78.2 per cent. The Scottish average this year is 81.3 per cent.

For non-graded qualifications the National 4 pass rate is 92.8 per cent, and for National 3 it is 84.2 per cent. There were two passes at National 2.

Across Scotland pass rates for National 5s, Highers and Advanced Highers have increased to near record levels for any exam year since current qualifications were introduced.

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Pupils may appeal if any of their grades do not seem right or if they have not performed as well as the school had expected.

Pupils can submit an appeal directly to the SQA but they are encouraged to speak to their school to determine whether the estimate and alternative assessment evidence can support an appeal.

Davie Sandson. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

Chairman of Shetland Islands Council’s education and families committee Davie Sandison said: “I’d like to congratulate all the pupils on their achievements, after sitting exams for the first time in three years.

“They’ve shown remarkable resilience in the face of the uncertainty and disruption caused by the pandemic.

“I would like to thank all the teachers, head teachers and support staff who have helped prepare our young people for exams this year and who have provided them with the health and wellbeing support to help them achieve their potential.”

Scottish education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said while exams went ahead as usual following Covid restrictions, there was still disruption to teaching through the year.

She added: “Some learners may not be receiving the results they were hoping for today. This year there is a free, direct appeals service for those whose National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher awarded grade is less than the estimate submitted by their school or college.

“There is also plenty of help available on next steps, including from the Skills Development Scotland Results Helpline (0808 100 8000).”

Regarding the flight delays, attempting to collect mail from the sorting office is not advised as this will interrupt the sorting of mail.

Pupils who have not signed up to MySQA and who are expecting their results by post, can contact their school today to receive their results directly. ·      

SQA Advice is also available on the Skills Development Scotland website.

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