SQA results day

Increase in entries and pass rates at National 5.

Entries and pass rates for National 5 have increased and Higher results in Science have improved according to annual SQA results.  

In a set of results that reflect the continued high standards of the Scottish qualification system, the pass rate for National 5 increased by 0.7 percentage points to 78.2% and the pass rate at Higher decreased 2.0 percentage points to 74.8%.

The improvement in National 5 includes an increase of 4.4% in passes for English and a 1.3% rise in Maths, with an increase in entries of 2.4% overall.

More than 54,000 skills-based qualifications have also been achieved, providing learners with the skills needed to help them move into employment, further or higher education.  

Entries at Higher in Science subjects are up 2.6% with passes up 1.4%, bucking a trend that saw the number of pupils in S5-S6 fall slightly. Partly as a result of this, overall Higher entries and passes are down by 3.1% and 5.7% respectively.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney today met learners receiving their results at Forth Valley College in Stirling.

Mr Swinney said:

“Congratulations to the pupils who have worked so hard and achieved so much this year. Thank you to all our teachers, lecturers and SQA staff for their dedicated support throughout the past twelve months.

“These are a strong set of results which show a degree of year on year variation expected in a high performing education system with credible assessment.

“I am pleased to see an overall rise in the pass rate for National 5 with increases in passes for Maths and English. At Higher level we have seen a welcome upturn in the collective number of passes for the sciences – something we have focused our efforts on for some time.

“Our learners now have a much wider range of choice than ever before, allowing them to find the route into employment or further education that is right for them. There has been a sustained increase in the number of skills-based qualifications, with 54,406 awards achieved this year, more than double the figure attained in 2012 and a rise of over 4,000 awards on last year. These qualifications provide our learners with the vital knowledge and experience specifically valued by employers.

“While three-quarters of Higher candidates gained a pass at A-C, there has been a fall in the overall pass rate. This year for the first time we saw the removal of unit assessments at Higher level, a move that was broadly supported by the education sector. If the pass rate only ever went up people would rightly question the robustness of our assessment system.

“We need to continue to ensure teachers have the right support in place to help them provide the best learning and teaching experiences for our young people. Our planned review of the senior phase of Curriculum for Excellence, announced earlier this year with the backing of the Parliament, will help us to better understand how the curriculum is being implemented in schools and identify any areas where we can collaborate with the education system to further improve the quality of education for our pupils.”


Detailed information on all results is available from the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Students and parents can get further information and support from the Skills Development Scotland helpline.

Contact: Richard Clarke - 0131 244 3069 / 07467 447 253 


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