Comment: Great effort from pupils and teachers

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SO school’s out for summer. And the results season is upon us.

Cue a host of people who have done well telling us that results really do matter, while others insist that Highers are not the be-all-and-end-all. Meanwhile, those of us of a certain age look disbelievingly at the pass rate and claim that exams are so much easier than when we were young.

Figures show 58 per cent of S5 pupils scored at least one Higher pass this year – up four per cent on last year and 16 per cent above the level recorded in 2009.

The reality is that for many, today’s results will shape their future. Performance will dictate choices at university and college and their ultimate career decision. It will affect the people they come into contact with and who will be their key influences.

However, for others who haven’t done so well it’s not the end of the road. It simply means a different path.

Some will choose to re-sit and will be successful, joining the original path they envisaged.

But many young people will find that their talents are not best highlighted by traditional examinations. It’s about the whole person and many of our most able students are talented in ways that don’t necessarily translate into exam performance.

Modern employers are looking for attitude and creativity and determination and digital nous, elements which are not necessarily taught in the classroom.

Most of us learn far more from failure than we do from success.

The route to success for some will, therefore, be convoluted. But the country is full of outstanding individuals without a qualification to their name.

Nevertheless, today is a day to celebrate those who have passed with flying colours and to acknowledge the great efforts of our teachers and headteachers across Edinburgh and the Lothians in shaping the future of our country.

We salute you all.