Publication - Statistics

Examination Results (SQA) In Scottish Schools: 2002/03

Published: 4 Nov 2003
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A web only ECSU Statistics Publication Notice

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Examination Results (SQA) In Scottish Schools: 2002/03
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Statistics Publication Notice

Education Series

ISSN 1479-7569


SQA Examination Results In Scottish Schools: 2002/03

A Scottish Executive National Statistics Publication
4 November 2003

This document is also available in pdf format (36k)

This Statistics Publication Notice presents national and education authority level information on the cumulative attainment of National Qualifications by all pupils in publicly funded secondary schools. It updates bulletin Edn/03/2002/04 published in November 2002, which also presented school level data.

This year, school level data will be released in a new format on a website in December. A more detailed analysis of examination results, including trends in post-appeals attainment, will be published around March 2004.

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) is used as the basis for reporting attainment. The SCQF levels are shown below for information.

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

Level

Qualifications included

7

Advanced Higher @ A-C
CSYS @ A-C

6

Higher @ A-C
SCE Higher @ A-C

5

Standard Grade @ 1-2
Intermediate 2 @ A-C

4

Standard Grade @ 3-4
Intermediate 1 @ A-C

3

Standard Grade @ 5-6
Access 3 Cluster


The main findings are:

  • Overall attainment in Scottish schools in 2003 was broadly similar to the levels attained in previous years. The figures are not directly comparable because the 2003 figures are before appeals whereas figures for previous years include successful appeals.
  • In 2003, 91 per cent of pupils attained 5 or more awards at SCQF level 3 or better by the end of S4. Thirty three per cent attained 5 or more awards at SCQF level 5 or better by the end of S4.
  • By the end of S5, 22 per cent of the previous year's S4 cohort attained 3 or more awards at SCQF level 6 or better. Nine per cent attained 5 or more awards at SCQF level 6 or better.
  • By the end of S6, 19 per cent of the relevant S4 roll attained 5 or more awards at SCQF level 6 or better. Twelve per cent attained 1 or more award at SCQF level 7 or better.

The following tables are available:

Table 1 SQA attainment in publicly funded secondary schools by the end of S4.
Table 2 SQA Attainment in publicly funded secondary schools by the end of S5.
Table 3 SQA Attainment in publicly funded secondary schools by the end of S6.

BACKGROUND NOTES
1. National Statistics Statement

This is a National Statistics publication. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

2. Sources and Definitions

2.1 Sources

Data on National Qualifications, Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE) and Certificate of Sixth Year Studies (CSYS) qualifications were obtained from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). They do not take into account confirmed corrections to certification post August 2003.

School roll figures were obtained from the Scottish Executive School Census as at September in the relevant year. Pupils entering or leaving the school after Census date may affect the percentages given for examination attainment. Roll figures include pupils in mainstream classes and in integrated SEN units, previous publications have counted only the mainstream roll.

Candidate Stage data (i.e. S4, S5, S6) was obtained, for the majority, from schools' management information systems. Stage was otherwise estimated to within approximately 0.5% chance of error.

2.2 Definitions

National and education authority averages do not include independent or special schools. Education authority averages include education authority secondary schools only whereas national averages include all publicly funded secondary schools.

The figures represent cumulative attainment by the end of each stage. For example, figures showing attainment by the end of S4 may include the results of Standard Grade or Intermediate courses completed by the same pupils when they were in S3.

The figures include compensatory awards. Pupils who narrowly failed to achieve an A-C in the external assessment of a national course, but successfully completed all of the internal units, were awarded a 'compensatory' A at the level of course below the one undertaken. For instance, where this was the case with a Higher course, an A at Intermediate 2 was awarded.

Staying on rates are calculated as the estimated January roll in S5 divided by the September S4 roll in the previous year. The estimated January roll in S5 is calculated by subtracting the number of first term leavers in S5 from the September S5 roll. The S6 staying on rate is calculated by dividing the September S6 roll by the S4 roll two years before.

In order to record the attainment of an entire cohort, attainment in S5 and S6 is reported as a percentage of the relevant S4 roll. For example, attainment in S5 in 2003 is calculated as a percentage of the September S4 roll in 2001. S6 attainment is calculated from the September S4 roll in 2000.

Awards are credited to the presenting centre only. Exam results may be affected by pupils who are presented for examinations at Further Education colleges.

3. Notes

Examination results are an important indicator of performance, but not one that gives the full picture of education. These results should be considered alongside other indicators of pupils' progress, such as the quality of the learning experience and the ethos of the school.

Sometimes differences in the patterns of results from year to year may be due to fluctuations in pupils' abilities in different year groups rather than to any underlying trend in school performance. Furthermore, as already stated, examination results for 2003 are pre-appeals whereas results for 2001 and 2002 are post-appeals.

Some schools make provision for pupils with special educational needs either within their mainstream roll or in integrated SEN units. These pupils can have a significant effect on attainment patterns. However, the overall effect is heavily dependent on the number of pupils and the nature of their needs.

A low staying-on rate to S5 and S6 might be part of the explanation for a low percentage of awards.

4. Enquiries

Copies of the tables are available on the Scottish Executive's website at www.scotland.gov.uk. Public enquiries (non-media) about the information contained in this Statistics Publication Notice should be addressed to David Cruickshank, Assistant Statistician, The Scottish Executive Education Department, Education Statistics, Area 1-A West, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ. Tel. 0131 244 7976 or e-mail to: educ.outcomes.stats@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Media enquiries about the information in this Statistics Publication Notice should be addressed to Marion MacKay (0131) 244 3070.