Improved attainment over last 5 years

Highland schools have made significant progress in improving their attainment outcomes for senior phase SQA results over the last 5 years.

Education Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: “We welcome the positive attainment outcomes covered in the report and further highlighted by the attainment presentation at committee. The continued improvements we are seeing demonstrate the hard work of our schools and the resilience of our pupils who have made these improvements despite the disruption they have experienced on the back of the last two years from the pandemic. I look forward to the continued collaborative work with Officers, Head Teachers and Members to continue to raise school attainment and achievement in our schools.”

The SQA results for 2022 is the first year that formal exams have taken place since 2019.

Particular improvement can be seen in the percentage of S4 learners attaining 5+, and 3+ Awards at SCQF Level 5 in S4. This has increased significantly and both measures are the highest in 5 years, resulting in a narrowing of the gap compared to National data for the same measures.

The attainment gap has also closed in Highland over a 4-year period, in most instances this being as a result of our most vulnerable pupils increasing in attainment.

Schools have reported that Covid has impacted particularly on young people living in deprivation, as evidenced by the increasing attainment gap during the pandemic for S4 and S6 in particular. However, there is an indication that the gap has started to close again this session.

A helpful presentation containing the high-level attainment messages and next steps in Highland was presented to Members of the Education Committee and is available to watch by webcast on the Council’s website.  

Secondary school-based attainment meetings will take place at the end of this year. At these meetings stretch targets for session 2022/23 will be set with each school.

24 Nov 2022