Scots pupils in the A-team

RECORD numbers of Scots pupils have earned a university or college place for later this year.

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Marc Fingland, who achieved 5 'A' passes, with mum Sandra, dad James and dog Alfie Picture:  Kirsty Anderson
Marc Fingland, who achieved 5 'A' passes, with mum Sandra, dad James and dog Alfie Picture: Kirsty Anderson

As youngsters across the country anxiously opened their exam results, it emerged some 30,350 applicants have been accepted into higher education - a 5% increase on 2013.

In Glasgow, the percentage of young people achieving one or more Advanced Higher has more than doubled in the last seven years - from 5% in 2007 to 11.5% in 2014.

There was also a rise this year in young people passing three or more or five or more Highers by the end of S6, up by around 3% from 17.6% to 20.3%.

Marc Fingland was just one of the nervous youngsters opening their exam ­results early yesterday.

The 17-year-old, from Anderston, achieved top marks, earning 5As for his Highers in English, maths, Spanish, geography and chemistry.

Marc, who goes to St Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, said he was "really nervous" as his exam results dropped through the letter box.

He said: "I can't even take it in, I'm just so happy. All the hard work has paid off."

Councillor Stephen Curran, executive member for education and young people, said: "Glasgow's parents can be assured the education of their children is in safe hands and I promise that we will build on this success and continue to raise expectations and attainment."

Glasgow's top results - the third annual rise in attainment - were matched across the border in East Renfrewshire.

Education bosses there were boasting of a record-breaking year with top ­performances in S4, Highers and Advanced Highers.

The authority said it had the highest ever percentage of pupils gaining three or more Highers at 60% and the best ever performance at ­Advanced Higher level.

A total of 71% of fourth year pupils gained five or more qualifications at level five, again the highest ever.

Five out of the seven schools have all increased the number of young people achieving five or more A grade passes at Higher level.

Convener for education and equalities, Councillor Elaine Green, said: "Once again, our young people have excelled themselves.

"Credit must be given to the commitment and effort of our school staff and ­parents, who play such a big part in our young people's successes."

This year the first cohort of pupils to take the new ­National 4 and 5 exams ­received their results.

Glasgow schools are also witnessing improved pupils attendance across all sectors.

Attendance and exclusions continue to improve with secondary attendance increasing to its highest ­level ever, 91.5%. Exclusions have dropped by 70% since 2007.

In addition to SQA exams, Glasgow's Schools Vocational Programme works with more than 1100 pupils from S3 to S6.

It provides practical experience in a variety of occupational sectors, giving young people with exposure to skills, knowledge and experience of the simulated workplace.

Education bosses claim another major contributory factor to Glasgow's success is the Commonwealth ­Apprentices Initiative (CAI), which works in partnership with many employers in the city providing apprenticeship opportunities to hundreds of school leavers.

Michael Russell, the ­Education Secretary, added: "Scotland's young people can be incredibly proud of their achievements after putting in so much hard work and thousands will now be moving into a fresh challenge.

"It is great news so many have already been accepted to a Scottish institution."

catriona.stewart@eveningtimes.co.uk

Education

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