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The proportion of passes and top grades were on the rise and education officials have hailed the “quality of teaching” in the sector.
Political leaders also praised the “invaluable contribution” of the schools to education in Scotland.
The number of independent school pupils awarded A grades at Intermediate 2, Higher and Advanced Higher have been increasing steadily over the past three years, with the proportion of entries awarded A grades at Advanced Higher up by 20 per cent in three years.
In mainstream independent schools over half of all S5 Higher entries were awarded the top grade.
“The fact that pass rates and the proportion of A grades in the independent sector continue to rise is a testament to the quality of teaching and the purposeful learning environment that exists in our schools,” said John Edward, director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools.
“Although modest in number, the independent sector in Scotland makes a significant contribution to the number of exam presentations, particularly at Advanced Higher where numbers are disproportionately high.
“Independent schools also make an important contribution to the study of sciences and languages which remain vital to the strength and diversity of Scotland’s economy.”
Of the 165,700 Highers taken by pupils at schools across Scotland this Summer, almost 14,000 were sat by youngsters in independent schools. There was a pass rate of 89.9 per cent in the latter sector compared with 76.5 per cent across Scotland as a whole. The
The Advanced Higher pass rate was 90.9 per cent compared with 79.4 per cent in Scotland as a whole.
Tory education spokeswoman Liz Smith said: “I warmly congratulate the independent schools on another year of outstanding exam results.
“They demonstrate that the sector continues to make an invaluable contribution to education in Scotland and preparing our young people for the future.”
Among the results, George Heriots’s School in Edinburgh saw 178 5th year pupils sit a total of 830 Highers and achieve 505 A grades. George Watson’s College had 236 pupils sitting 963 Highers, with 527 A grades achieved, while 92 pupils in 5th year at the Edinburgh Academy got 108 As from the 328 Highers sat.
Education Secretary Michael Russell said: “Congratulations to pupils at Scottish independent schools for their achievements in this year’s exams. Scotland’s young people clearly have high ambitions demonstrated by improved pass rates for schools across the board in 2011.”
The uptake of Standard Grade exams has been decreasing over the past three years, with entries falling by 12 per cent over the period, the figures indicate. But 60 per cent of Standard Grade entries were awarded grade A in independent schools this year. Intermediate 1 and 2 have seen an increase in popularity, with the number of entries increasing by 4 per cent and 5 per cent respectively over three years.
The number of Highers sat by students remained consistently strong over the past three years, and the independent sector’s share of entries has been stable at around 8 per cent.
Pass rates have improved annually for the past three years