‘Full marks . . now let’s build on this’

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FULL marks to the staff and pupils at Boroughmuir High today after it was named Scottish State Secondary School of the Year.

The accolade – the first time it has been awarded to an Edinburgh school – comes after it marched up the league table of the country’s top secondaries into the top ten.

With Mary Erskine’s being named independent school of the year, the Sunday Times list makes great reading for the city.

It does not, of course, mean that all is suddenly rosy with Edinburgh’s schools.

Boroughmuir has achieved the award despite it being branded one of the most dilapidated school buildings in the country, making the result all the more impressive.

Plans for a rebuild have been rumbling on for years with the former Fountain Brewery site now finally identified for the new school to open in 2016.

At the same time, the future for another high-achieving city secondary – Portobello High – remains desperately uncertain amid the battle over plans to build on Portobello Park.

Other city schools are waiting patiently to hear of their own planned rebuilds and refurbishments.

So while today’s news does not solve any of the problems the city’s education department faces, it is a welcome boost to the hard-working teachers who are rolling up their sleeves and getting on with what they do best.

The success stories are not limited to the schools such as Boroughmuir or Mary Erskine’s, which topped the country with a higher pass rate of 83.8 per cent at A and B 
level.

Earlier this year, the Evening News hailed the Wester Hailes Education Centre for a remarkable turnaround which saw its Standard Grade success rate soar from one per cent to 21 per cent in the space of just two years.

There are academic success stories right across Edinburgh’s schools, many of which will go unnoticed.

The challenge is now to build on this for the future and ensure we give the staff and pupils the facilities they deserve to do even better.