Students in Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders find out their grades

Students from across our region have been receiving results for a range of qualifications today.

In Cumbria, students have been finding out how they have gotten on in their A-levels, while in both Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders they have been sent their National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher results. The results for BTech vocational qualifications have also begun to be published today.

On both sides of the border grades have been determined by teachers after exams were cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Scotland, school results in Scotland are consistently lower than last year but have shown a sharp rise since 2019 while England has seen a record high in the number of pupils awarded top grades.

In Dumfries and Galloway, 60 per cent of people in S5 and 70 per cent of people in S6 have received at least on Higher. For three Higher the figures are 39 and 50 per cent while for five Highers they are 15 per cent and 34 per cent.

Councillor Jeff Leaver, chair of the Education and Learning committee, said: 

In the Scottish Borders, the council said that the overall pass rate (A-C) for S4 pupils at SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework) Level 5, which includes National 5, was up by three per cent to 88.3 percent. The overall attainment at SCQF Level 6, which includes Highers, was "broadly in line with previous years at 85.4 percent".

Across England as a whole, the proportion of A-level entries awarded an A grade or higher has surged to an all-time high. More than two in five (44.8%) of UK entries were awarded an A or A* grade this summer - up by 6.3 percentage points on last year when 38.5 per cent achieved the top grades.

Overall, the proportion of entries awarded the top A* grade this year has surged to 19.1% - the highest proportion since the top grade was first introduced in 2010.

In Scotland, the pass rates at grades A-C for Higher was 87.3 per cent, the Advanced Higher pass rate 90.2 per cent and the National 5 pass rate was 85.8 per cent.

Last year the Higher pass rate was 89.3 per cent, the Advanced Higher pass rate was 93.1 per cent and the National 5 pass rate was 89.0 per cent.

Despite the drop in the attainment rate, Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville described the results as "strong", adding they had been "achieved under extraordinary circumstances".

She said: "It's been one of the toughest academic years we've ever known, with the pandemic throwing significant challenges at our young people.

"So to have this many learners receiving certificates and for the number of passes at Higher and Advanced Higher to be so high is incredible.

"These results are testament to the hard work, resilience and determination of learners - and to the dedication of their endlessly supportive teachers and lecturers, who have been with them every step of the way, going above and beyond to make sure pupils got the grades they deserve.

"Learners can be confident that their awards are fair, consistent and credible. Indeed, industry representatives have made it clear how much they value this year's qualifications."