I VIVIDLY remember my primary five teacher.

Not for her nurturing encouragement, not for her inspiring personality or her pride in our attainment.

Far from it. What I remember is her saying to my class that, should any of us go on to university and gain a Masters degree, we must make sure to come back and visit her.

As my teacher turned back round to her desk she muttered, just loud enough for anyone at the front to hear, "I'll never be seeing any of you again."

On graduating with my second Masters degree, my first plan was to head back to my old primary and see what she had to say for herself.

It's one of my great regrets that I waited, as the lady in question had not long retired.

We were in an impoverished area, true. But I made it to university, and the girl in the seat next to me, Louise Renicks, made it on to the Commonwealth Games.

While it was appalling conduct from someone who had signed up to educate and support children, I just can't imagine any primary school currently where those sorts of attitudes would prevail.

And by "those sorts of attitudes", I mean ignorant snobbery working against the success of young pupils.

Instead, in our Glasgow schools, what you see time and time again is teaching staff bending over backwards to make sure that their wards are not missing out.

It's always amazing when head teachers casually mention evening and weekend study groups, which are now fairly standard across the city.

For pupils who don't have a safe, appropriate or well equipped home environment to study in, these homework and additional study groups are vital.

But, of course, they don't go ahead without someone to lead them – and that means teachers working outside school times.

In areas where young people have limited or no opportunities to take part in extra curricular activities – from skiing, trips outside the city or rock climbing – guess who's stepping in to provide those?

That's right, teaching staff.

And yet... every year the school league tables serve to praise middle class schools in middle class areas packed with – you're getting it now, aren't you – middle class kids from middle class families.

Good for them and how very nice.

But the more impressive achievements are in the areas where everything is stacked against our young people yet schools are putting in place innovative, creative means to tip the balance back in their favour.

And it serves to point that out.

The Scottish Government recognises that, while parents find this information desirable, it's essentially pointless and so civil servants don't aggregate the data.

It takes a team of us many hours to pull it all together into tables but the stories of each school are little represented by those numbers.

The Glasgow Gaelic School performed well in the the national school league tables. Donalda McComb, the school's headteacher, quite rightly praised bilingual education as helping boost attainment but expressed exasperation with the assumption Gaelic is for middle class children.

However, 15 per cent of pupils come from Scotland's most deprived postcodes, those ranked level one on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

If one ranks Glasgow's schools by percentage of SIMD1 pupils, the next on the list would be Hyndland Secondary, in the well to do west end, where the figure is 29 per cent. It rises to schools in Castlemilk where the percentage of pupils from SIMD1 is 90 per cent.

Across Scotland, if the league tables were weighted for their SIMD1 numbers they would produce a very different list.

Several years ago on the Evening Times league tables there would be schools in Glasgow where the number of pupils earning three or more Highers was in the single figures. That is no longer the case due to the impressive work being done to give a future to the city's young people - not only academically but regardless of academic ability.

It is up to government to tackle the wider issues of poverty affecting Glasgow's pupils. But our schools are picking up the slack.

Rather than sitting low on league tables, they are the jewel in this city's crown.