Pri­vate schools make the grade as nine in 10 Highers re­sult in a pass

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

ANDREW DENHOLM

Cri­eff, Fern­hill School, in Ruther­glen, Robert Gor­don’s Col­lege in Aberdeen and Welling­ton School in Ayr.

John Ed­ward, di­rec­tor of the Scot­tish Coun­cil of In­de­pen­dent Schools (SCIS), which pub­lished the fig­ures, said the re­sults were a great tes­ta­ment to the pri­vate sec­tor.

He said: “Scot­land can be very proud. The hard work of young peo­ple, fam­i­lies and teach­ers all comes at no cost to the tax­payer.

“Con­sis­tently high at­tain­ment in the in­de­pen­dent sec­tor by pupils from di­verse back­grounds is one part of the rounded in­di­vid­ual ex­pe­ri­ence on of­fer matched by ex­ten­sive ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar op­por­tu­ni­ties in sport, mu­sic and the arts.”

Se­nior pupils at Glas­gow Academy show their de­light af­ter their school se­cured a pass rate of 97.1 per cent in Higher ex­ams.

Just over four per cent of pupils in Scot­land at­tend an in­de­pen­dent school and the sec­tor is equiv­a­lent in size to the sev­enth largest lo­cal author­ity in Scot­land.

Pri­vate schools gen­er­ally out­per­form those in the state sec­tor in ex­ams, but many se­lect their pupils on the ba­sis of their aca­demic abil­ity.

Last month, a sur­vey by The Her­ald showed pri­vate school fees in­creased by an av­er­age of more than three per cent in 2017/18 – with the high­est top­ping £25,000.

Fees for Al­byn rose by 3.49 per cent to £13,175, while those at Glas­gow Academy in­creased by two per cent to £12,023.

The fee rises come at a time when the cost of a pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion is in­creas­ingly un­der the spotlight fol­low­ing the eco­nomic down­turn and a drop in pupil num­bers.

Pri­vate schools have also re­cently crit­i­cised con­tro­ver­sial pro­pos­als which would leave them with a £5 mil­lion an­nual bill for busi­ness rates.

Schools said such as in­crease would have “se­ri­ous con­se­quences” for the em­ploy­ment of teach­ers and staff and would have an im­pact on tens of thou­sands of pupils.

A num­ber of pri­vate schools in­clud­ing Fettes and Mer­chis­ton Cas­tle, in Ed­in­burgh, and Gor­don­stoun, in Mo­ray, are not in­cluded in our ta­ble be­cause pupils sit A-lev­els rather than Highers.

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