Private schools up to mark with best ever exam results

Heriot's: best-performing private school in Edinburgh
Heriot's: best-performing private school in Edinburgh
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SCOTLAND’S private schools were today celebrating their best exam results ever, as figures showed 56 per cent of all Highers sat were awarded an A grade.

The Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS), which published the figures, said the results showed private schools were punching well above their weight. The statistics showed pass rates and the proportion of entries awarded an A at Intermediate 2, Higher and Advanced Higher had all increased.

The figures will again raise the question of whether exams are getting easier. This year’s Higher pass rate for all schools rose to a record 76.9 per cent.

Today’s figures showed that when the pass rate for private schools is taken separately, the figure stands at 93 per cent, putting the proportion of private school pupils achieving at least a C, as well as the proportion of those achieving an A, is now at the highest level since analysis of results began in 2007.

George Heriot’s School scored 65 per cent A grades, putting it third in the league table behind the High School of Glasgow and St Margaret’s School for Girls in Aberdeen.

It was followed by St Mary’s Music School, with 64 per cent, and St George’s School for Girls and The Mary Erskine School, both with 62 per cent.

Merchiston Castle School scored 60 per cent A grades, George Watson’s and Stewart’s Melville both scored 55 per cent and Edinburgh Academy 34 per cent.

Clifton Hall School, at Newbridge, achieved the lowest proportion of A passes, with five per cent of the 40 exams sat at Higher in S5 awarded the top grade. However, only 11 S5 pupils sat Highers at the school, and the school’s headteacher said every pupil who had applied to university had got into the course and institution of their choice.

Schools including Fettes and Loretto are not included in the table because their pupils sit A Levels rather than Highers.

John Edward, director of SCIS, hailed the results as “a gold-medal achievement by pupils and confirmation of the quality of teaching that exists in the sector”.

The results came after it emerged the cost of private education in Scotland had soared by 63 per cent in a decade,

A report by Lloyds TSB Private Banking said average fees were almost £10,000 per child per year.