Moray pupils receive exam results

SCHOOL pupils across Moray are celebrating after receiving their SQA exam results today (Tuesday 10 August), with many star pupils achieving high marks.

The Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact on our Moray schools during session 2020/2021, with cancellation of the examination diet common with session 2019/2020 and the implementation of an Alternative Certification Model (ACM).  Our school staff, alongside central officers, have worked exceptionally hard to ensure all young people in Moray achieved the best possible outcomes, given the impact of Covid-19, from a range of assessments undertaken within our schools. 

There is an overall strong performance across Moray with some exceptional individual results for our young people in S4, S5 and S6.  Of particular note, is the number of young people who have achieved 6 or more ‘A’ passes at National 5 including young people achieving Higher results in S4. 

In addition, the number of young people who have achieved 5 or more ‘A’ passes at Higher level in S5 is a record with 56 exceptional individual pupil achievements for this measure; the highest since 2003.

Although overall S4 performance is broadly in line with session 2019/2020 with positive increases demonstrated over the last 5 years, a record pass rate of 90% was achieved across Moray.  Strong S4 performance is noted in National 5 Art and Design, Geography, History, Modern Studies, Music and Physical Education; National 5 English also continue to be an area of positive attainment with an increasing trend common with National 5 Maths. 

Performance at S5 for Higher shows very positive increases in attainment at all measures in comparison with previous years and is indeed, our highest performance across the previous 5 years with a pass rate of 90% also achieved.  Positive subject performance at S5 for Higher includes Art and Design, Business Management, English, History, Modern Studies, Music and Physical Education with notable increase in attainment overall for Higher Maths. 

Similarly, in S6, our pupils continue to perform well with value being added across all measures for those young people who choose to remain in school until S6.  In S6 for Higher, the pass rate remained high at 88% with notable subject performance in Geography, History, Modern Studies and Physical Education. 

At S6 Advanced Higher, performance was strong in a number of subject areas which include English, French, Geography, Graphic Communication, History, Music and Physical Education and a record number of pupils achieving at least one Advanced Higher at 40% of the S6 cohort.

Across all of our Moray secondary schools we have some outstanding achievements at all levels, with 84 pupils achieving at least 6 ‘A’ grade awards and 38 achieving 7 ‘A’ grade awards or more in S4 at National 5.  This demonstrates performance in line with last year, however with a broader curriculum choice where appropriate.  In S5, 56 of our young people achieved 5 ‘A’ grade awards with 8 young people in S6 also achieving 3 grade ‘A’ awards at Advanced Higher level.

At this time, we await further information from SQA and Scottish Government as to what the exam diet for session 2021/22 will look like and once this is known, schools and practitioners will continue to work with pupils and families to ensure that they are fully prepared for the year ahead.  Further analysis on attainment results is ongoing and will be supplemented by Insight Benchmarking Tool data which is normally available in September.

Vivienne Cross, Head of Education (Chief Education Officer) at Moray Council said: “I am exceptionally proud of our overall results as well as individual student awards, particularly given the very challenging year which has had a major impact on our young people. 

“Their resilience, tenacity and ability to stay focussed during a year of disruption, like no other, is to be applauded and we congratulate every pupil for each award and grade they have worked hard to achieve.

“Of particular note, is the wide range of qualifications and courses achieved from National 2 to Advanced Higher.  Some young people have had to overcome personal challenges and have achieved qualifications which have allowed them to achieve.  We pay credit to staff across our schools for working hard to identify relevant courses and qualifications to meet the individual needs of Moray learners.

“We understand for some young people things may not have worked out as they would have hoped.  I would say to any young person in this situation, that we will do everything we can to support them as they continue to achieve their personal goals and ambitions.

“We wish all young people every success as they return to school or move on to the next stage in their journey.”

Any pupil requiring support or advice can contact their school in the first instance.  SQA candidate advice line may also be accessed on:  0345 279 1000.  Those young people requiring advice about University places may contact UCAS online on, on social media or by telephone on 0371 468 0468.  Skills Development Scotland are also on hand to support with next steps and advice through the Exam Results Helpline and are contactable on 0808 100 8000.

Contact Information

Moray Council Press Office