Exam results

West Dunbartonshire schools celebrate improved exam results

Exam Results 2018Local students celebrate the arrival of their examination results.

Schools across West Dunbartonshire are celebrating after achieving their best ever Higher exam results since the introduction of the new National qualifications.

After a year of hard work, a record 79% of S5 pupils presented received a Higher qualification – up 3% from last year’s results.  The results are 2% higher than the national average for Higher grades.  Highers have steadily improved in West Dunbartonshire over the past five years.

There was particular success for S5 students at Vale of Leven Academy, who scored a 100% pass rate in 14 of the 23 subjects being tested.

And improvements were also seen in  Higher subjects at Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School, Clydebank High School, Dumbarton Academy, and St Peter the Apostle High School.

The hard work paid off for National 4 and National 5 students too, who also scored better than the national average.

In the National 4 exams, West Dunbartonshire schools were 4.4% above the country-wide figures, while in National 5, pupils beat the national score by 2.4%.

In Advanced Higher, a 75% pass rate across the region signalled a slight drop but two schools – Our Lady & St. Patrick’s High School and Vale of Leven Academy – improved their results and were above the national average.

Of the 9,603 qualifications students were presented for, 83% were passed.

And 98.3% of pupils presented got at least one qualification.

The results also show that work to improve literacy and numeracy is an ongoing success, with increased results in both the Advanced Higher and Higher sections.

Some highlights across West Dunbartonshire include:

  • A 100% pass rate for both English and Mathematics Advanced Higher at Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School
  • A 5% increase in passes for Higher Business Management, and a 9% increase for Modern Studies at Clydebank High School
  • English Higher passes up 11% at Dumbarton Academy
  • A 23% rise in passes for History and Modern Studies at St Peter the Apostle High School
  • A 12% increase at Vale of Leven Academy in Computing Science.
  • A 98% pass rate for pupils at Kilpatrick school.

Cllrs Conaghan and McAllister with Chief Education Officer Laura Mason.

Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services, said: “It’s fantastic to see such success in the Higher examinations. Seeing results steadily improve year on year shows the hard work our pupils have put in and the dedication of the teachers who support them.

“It’s great to see improvements in literacy and numeracy figures which show we are continuing to equip our young people with the vital skills they need to succeed in adult life whatever career path they choose.”

Caroline McAllister, Vice Convener of Educational Services, said: “I want to congratulate all our pupils on their achievements this year and wish them every success in the future.

“We put forward the largest number of pupils for Highers, and that too is where we saw the biggest improvement. We are delighted with the outcome here.”

Laura Mason, Chief Education Officer, said: “We are proud of all of our pupils whose hard work throughout the year has seen them achieve these great results. These now allow them to move onto the next stage of their education – be that another year of school, university, college or an apprenticeship.

“These results, and the fact that many of our schools are operating well above the national average, demonstrate the dedication of our school staff, who continually motivate and inspire their pupils.

“Our goal now is to continue improving attainment and keep working towards closing the attainment  gap for our pupils. We want to ensure every young person in West Dunbartonshire is supported to fulfil their potential.”


Meanwhile,  pupils in Argyll and Bute, which includes Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh,  are celebrating exam success today − with 100% of National 3 and 4 students passing and more Higher and Advanced Higher pupils achieving pass marks than last year.

A snapshot of the results shows that every child who sat National 3 and 4 exams in 2018 passed, while 81.9% of pupils sitting Advanced Highers achieved a pass, up 4.92% on 2017 results. National 5 pass results decreased slightly by 1.24%, to 79.86%. However, there was a rise in the number of Higher pupils passing their exams − 78.79%, up 2.9% on last year.

And figures from the SQA also show the 2018 pass rate is better than the national average for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams. For comparison, the national pass rates are 77.40% for National 5; 76.80% for Higher; and 80.50% for Advanced Higher.

The figures overall show that attainment is on the rise and councillors are congratulating pupils and teachers on their success, while reminding those that didn’t get the results they hoped for that there is support in place to help them explore various options.

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