Paul Godzik: Results down to pupils and teachers

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Waiting for exam results is always very stressful.

It is the culmination of many years of hard work, and can determine future career and study choices. I was delighted therefore to see how well Edinburgh pupils have done this year and I want to congratulate them on their success. They can be very proud of their accomplishments.

This year has been the first time the new National Qualifications have been introduced to replace Standard Grades and I know that has put many teachers under a great deal of strain. Thanks must go to our teachers for successfully introducing the new courses while at the same time continuing with the existing Higher exams. The fact our results continue to improve is testament to their hard work and commitment and I would like to thank them for their continued support and dedication.

Although national comparisons won’t be available until September, early indications are that Edinburgh’s schools are continuing to perform better than the national average. And while we can’t compare the new National qualifications against previous year’s results, our Higher results are showing improvements across the board.

When we look at the five-year trend and compare the 2009 data with this year’s results then the results are even more impressive. They show a 13 percentage point improvement at one or more Highers by the end of S6 and twelve percentage point improvement at one or more Highers by the end of S5.

This is a tremendous result. It shows a continued and sustained improvement and demonstrates the quality of teaching and learning in our schools. Over the last few years we’ve also put a strong focus on literacy and so it’s also very pleasing to see 100 per cent of our pupils now have an award in English by end of S5.

Many pupils will now be going on to study further qualifications at school next year as well as going on to university or other further education after the summer. Overall, a record 91 per cent of our school leavers now enter a positive destination – going into work, further education or training, and through the Edinburgh Guarantee we are determined to increase this number.

Whatever our young people chose to do I would like to take this opportunity to wish them all the best for the future.

Councillor Paul Godzik is education convener at Edinburgh City Council