SQA Exam Results 2022

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 09:36

For the first time since 2019, young people from across Dumfries and Galloway were able to sit SQA exams in April and May in conditions that were more similar to pre-pandemic approaches than in 2020 and 2021.

In the 2022 exam diet, young people sat exams in the same way as pre-pandemic but were able to benefit from advice and guidance about course content and assessment approaches from SQA that took account of the impact of the pandemic on learning and teaching throughout session 21-22. As a result of exam conditions being changed significantly in the 2019 and 2020 exam diets, outcomes form these years are an unreliable comparison. As such, the best comparator for this most recent data is that of 2019.

Results for 2022 show an encouraging picture with almost all measures for S4,5 and 6 correlating closely to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. This would suggest that the commitment and dedication of education professionals and partners along with a sustained focus on recovery and meeting the needs of all learners over the course of the pandemic has had a positive impact on outcomes. This is despite the ongoing significant challenges around COVID related absence and the capacity to sustain service and continuity of provision faced by all of our secondary schools last session.

The percentage of young people who were presented for National 5 exams showed an overall pass rate of 93%, the same as in 2019, and the measure of those achieving an A-C pass was up by 1% from 2019 levels at 82%.

At National 3 and National 4 levels, pass rates were 91% and 81% respectively. This shows similar levels at National 3 to pre-pandemic levels with a slight dip at National 4 presentation.

In S5, the percentage of young people achieving at least 1 Higher was 54%. The percentage achieving 3 or more Highers was 34% and 5 or more was 13%. This was broadly in line with levels achieved in 2019. This data shows a small overall dip from the longer-term pre-pandemic trend and shows that there is still some recovery work to be done to return to pre-pandemic improvement trends for these measures.

At S6, the percentage of young people achieving at least 1 Higher was 67%, 3 or more Highers was 46% and 5 or more was 31%. This is again a very positive result with almost all measures broadly in line or slightly better than pre-pandemic levels.

Young people in S6 achieving 1 or more passes at Advanced Higher level was up by around 1% from pre-pandemic levels at 22%. This positive picture might indicate that these older young people were able to adapt successfully to the challenges of the pandemic and were able to combine learning and support in school along with self-directed study and increased digital support and provision to help them achieve success.

Overall, the results this session are very encouraging and show that mitigations and responses to the challenges due to the pandemic have had a positive impact. There is still work to do to get back to our pre-pandemic longer-term trends of incremental improvement across all measures. However, we are in a better place to continue this journey than perhaps might have been anticipated given the scale of disruption to learning and teaching, and the challenges around sustaining front line services experienced by our schools over session 2020-22.

Chair of Education and Learning committee, Richard Brodie, said “One of our council’s priorities is ‘Providing the best start in life for all our children’. It is extremely encouraging to see results back in line with the most recently competitive data we have - from 2019. That was the last time that our young people were in exam halls. Given that all our young people had their education interrupted as a result of the pandemic and had to adapt to new ways of learning, I am delighted that these results are consistent with those from the last time our young people sat exams. I am optimistic that our schools will be able to build on these positive results as they continue to deliver our recovery agenda as we continue to Get it Right for Every Child in the forthcoming academic year.”

Vice Chair of Education and Learning committee, George Jamieson, said “I am really pleased with these results. Despite the significant challenges, young people showed huge determination to be able to overcome the challenges they faced during the previous two years of education so that they could sit exams.

“These results evidence the positive learning environment that we provide in Dumfries and Galloway. The young people, parents, carers and staff are to be congratulated, particularly this year in which they have faced and overcome unprecedented challenges when returning to classroom learning. However, there is still a lot of work to be done but I have confidence that our teachers and school staff will be able to provide the support that all our young people need to continue their positive, individual learning journeys.”

The Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Results Helpline is available from 8am on results day, Tuesday 9thAugust. SDS Advisers can tell our young people about Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships, jobs, volunteering or staying on at school.