Edinburgh school named as Scotland's top state high school

STAFF and students at an Edinburgh school are celebrating coming top of the class - after scooping a national award.

Boroughmuir High School has been ranked top state school in Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2019.

Based on exam results, the guide revealed nearly three quarters (74 percent) of students gained five or more Highers at the Fountainbridge school.

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Proud head teacher David Dempster said: “We’re absolutely delighted and the whole school community is absolutely thrilled.”

Boroughmuir High School. Pic: Greg Macvean

Remarkably, this year’s success is the second time Boroughmuir has scooped the award in six years, following up a 2012 triumph.

“To win it for the second time is incredible. It really is a reflection on the incredible commitment staff put in to their work.

“It’s also a reflection that we have a really happy school. The pupils are engaged in quality learning and what they achieve is outstanding.

“There’s a sense of community at the school and all the pupils and staff feel part of it - it’s a great school.

“We don’t go out to win awards. We go out to do the best we can at everything we can - this is just the icing on the cake.”

And the award was all the more sweeter given a year of upheaval for the school as it moved into new premises.

The new £31m school opened its doors in February months late - only to be deemed too small and in need of extra classrooms.

Educations bosses will have to splash out an extra £4.1 million to extend the premises to take in an additional 300 pupils by 2027.

“Moving house is a big enough task, moving a school is fraught with difficulties and to do it without any negative on the life of the school is really great,” said Mr Dempster.

Fettes College in Edinburgh is ranked top of the Independent schools in Scotland studying for A-levels, GCSEs and International Baccalaureate, while Merchiston Castle School is in third place.

Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: “Boroughmuir’s second triumph as Scottish State Secondary School of the Year in six years is testimony to the sustained levels of excellence that now pass for the norm at this school.

“A new school building has given students surroundings commensurate with their academic success, providing an environment where they can continue to achieve great things both inside and outwith the classroom.

“Students and teachers alike should be congratulated for their outstanding efforts.”

St Leonard’s School in St Andrews, Fife, won The Sunday Times Scottish Independent Secondary School of the Year award.

Mr McCall said: “No Scottish independent school can match St Leonard’s achievements in the sixth form averaged over the past four years.”

Jordanhill School in Glasgow maintained its place at the top of the overall table with 81 per cent of pupils gaining five or more Highers.


1. Jordanhill School - Glasgow

2. St Ninian’s High School - East Renfrewshire

3. Boroughmuir High School - Edinburgh

4. Williamwood High School - Glasgow

5. Mearns Castle High School - East Renfrewshire