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Peebles pupils celebrating exam success

The anxious wait is now over for thousands of pupils in the south of Scotland.

Those who took Higher and National Four and Five exams before the end of term found out their results this morning.

It's the first time pupils have sat a new version of the Highers exam, and a record number of Highers have been awarded.

Pupils at Peebles High School were amongst those celebrating:

I'm very pleased I got two As a B and a C.

I can do my advanced highers that I chose to do and I'm looking forward to it.

I want to go to university and study media and communications, hopefully go on to do radio when I'm older."

– Leia Devlin, Peebles High School

Borders pupils get best ever Higher results

Peebles pupils celebrate exam success Credit: ITV Border

Pupils in the Scottish Borders have recorded the region's best ever Higher pass rate.

34%
Of young people are leaving school with five or more Highers
4%
Increase from 2014
88%
Of pupils received an overall pass rate of A to D level

There was also an increase in the number of pupils achieving Advanced Highers, with a 9% jump in the number of school leavers who got A grade passes, and a 90% pass rate of grades between A and D.

This is the first year of the new curriculum for Scottish Highers, and Scottish Borders Council says the strong performance of its pupils demonstrates that the changes are working.

These results paint a highly positive picture for the young people of the Scottish Borders and are a strong testament to the commitment, dedication and hard work that has been shown over the past year by pupils, teachers, parents and carers alike.

What these results clearly show is that more young people are leaving education in the Scottish Borders with higher levels of qualifications and attainment and moving on to positive and sustained destinations. We have an increased number of qualifications being achieved by many more young people. Our teachers are more ambitious for our pupils and the adoption of an inclusive approach is providing them with greater employment or higher education opportunities."

– Councillor Sandy Aitchison, SBC’s Executive Member for Education

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Test results 'can't be compared with previous years'

Test results received by pupils in Dumfries and Galloway shouldn't be compared to last year's, because of changes to the system, according to the Chairman of the Council's Education Committee.

Councillor Jeff Leaver says the S4 results shouldn't be compared to previous years, but that in other categories schools and colleges in the region have improved:

Given the significant changes made to the exam system by the Scottish Government, this year’s S4 results can’t be compared with previous years as new exams and structures apply and these results will, therefore, need more time to assess.

However, in those areas which are directly comparable with previous years there has again been a very positive rise in attainment. For S5/S6 Highers and Advanced Highers there is an improvement in 6 out of 7 measures. So, I’d like to say well done to our pupils and thank you to our staff.”

– Councillor Jeff Leaver

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University's top tips for Clearing

Students from the University of Cumbria have made a video to help other pupils who don't get the A Level results they need, or have changed their minds about the university they'd chosen to attend.

'Clearing Top Tips' gives advice on how to get through the Clearing process.

It was put together by Lauren Millar and Joe Mannion, who have both been through Clearing:

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Here are some of their top tips:

  • Get in touch with universities, even if you don't meet the grade requirements - find out what they might be able to offer you
  • Research the courses, and universities, you are interested in
  • Have all your details ready - you'll need your UCAS login, your UCAS ID, qualifications and a pen and paper in case you need to take notes

I always wanted to study Law but didn’t think I’d meet the requirements. The whole day of Clearing I must have rang 30 odd universities to talk about three or four different courses. I really wanted to get a massive range. At the end of the day, I had a list of all the universities I wanted to go to and all the courses I might have a place on and I picked the best one for me.”

– Joe Mannion

Our two students just go to show that if you don’t get the grades for your first choice or, even if you do but think you may have chosen the wrong course or university, entering Clearing can be highly beneficial. Our advice is to give us a call and see what possibilities are open to you.”

– Gill Haigh, University of Cumbria

Whitehaven schools' £33 million funding boost

Work on the £33m development should begin next year. Credit: ITV Border

A £33 million funding package for an education campus and community sports facilities in Whitehaven has now been agreed.

The development will be built on the current site of St Benedict's High School, and construction could start as early as next year.

The facilities will be used by St Benedict's, as well as Mayfield Special School, and the sports facilities will be accessible to the whole community.

This has been a passion of mine for a decade now. The work has been painstaking and at times gruelling but this shows what can be achieved when we all share a common vision.

These investments will be transformative for Whitehaven and for thousands of young people and their families now and in the future. It’s an enormous step forward. New schools, a new hospital, new nuclear investments. We’re building a new and exciting future and our best days are ahead of us."

– Jamie Reed MP
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