School exams joy: ‘Pupils can flourish in spite of cuts’

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Just like our Olympic athletes, many of our school pupils have been surpassing themselves with their performances this summer.

We are quite rightly heaping praise on Sir Chris Hoy and his teammates for their incredible sporting achievements.

But the staff and pupils at Firrhill High have every right to be just as proud after recording the best exam results in the school’s 52-year 
history.

Our state schools are all too often knocked for their alleged shortcomings. And school budget cuts are certainly heaping extra pressures on staff to deliver more with less.

But Firrhill’s record-breaking 
results show that it is possible for students to flourish despite these setbacks.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the pupils’ academic success has dramaically improved since the 
rundown school campus was largely rebuilt a few years ago.

The naysayers will of course question whether the alleged “dumbing down” of exams has played a part.

But the improvement at Firrhill has been way above the national average and shows that without a doubt something special has been achieved there.

These pupils have shown that determination and talent can get their reward in the city’s schools.

Congratulations to all of headteacher Sarah Brown’s team and their pupils.

Derby and moan

it is tough being a Hibby right now when it comes to derby games.

So any of the Easter Road faithful who dropped down to the ground to pick up tickets for the first Capital clash of the season would be forgiven for thinking someone has it in for them. The last thing that anyone wants after a summer of Scottish Cup gloating by your arch-rivals is to have salt rubbed into their wounds at your home ground.

So seeing a billboard showing one of the men responsible for the Hampden demolition just yards from Easter Road must seem like the final insult.

Surely someone at Sky must realise how cruel – albeit inadvertantly – they have been to some of the country’s most devoted fans.

Perhaps they should look to make amends by paying for a billboard outside Tynecastle showing Derek Riordan in his pomp or Ian Murray with the legend seven-nil shaved into his hair.

As to the game ahead, with Hibs looking to restore some pride, they can at least take one positive –
Skacel might be on the poster but he won’t be on the pitch.