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Exam results achieved 'in spite of Scotland's schools system, not because of it'

Children across Scotland achieved their exam results “in spite of Scotland’s schools system, not because of it”.

Shadow education secretary Liz Smith congratulated youngsters who received pass marks as part of today’s exam results.

More than 150,000 exam passes were recorded by pupils across the country, although the number has decreased slightly from last year.

Despite that, some subjects saw a notable decline in both participation and attainment.

Tables published by the Scottish Conservatives show a significant reduction in those choosing to take subjects like French, German and History.

At Advanced Higher level, there was a dip in attainment across English and Biology.

Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liz Smith said:

“Many congratulations to all the pupils who worked so hard to get their grades today.

“Today is also a day to thank all the teachers and parents who supported them over the last few months, and have done so much to give today’s school leavers a great start in life.

“It is also good to see that, in contrast to previous years, there are no major issues around pass marks and that the exam process appears to have been conducted professionally.

“However, it is not all good news – and there are some clear warning signs contained in today’s figures which ministers must take account of urgently.

“In some key core subjects – including history and some modern languages – there is a marked drop in the number of entries. And in many subjects, we also see attainment falling, particularly at Advanced Higher level.

“The fundamental problems remain the same.

“We have too few teachers in classrooms. And, as the Sutton Trust recently declared, we have a school system that doesn’t give enough children the opportunity to really excel and push on.

“Today’s figures show that thousands of school children have done brilliantly and worked hard to earn their results.

“But the fact is that, in too many cases, this is in spite of Scotland’s school system, not because of it.”


Notes to editors:

For a breakdown of results, by subject, visit:

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