In the Herald today:

Caroline and Mary are due to take exams next year. Caroline’s home is in a deprived area of Glasgow while Mary’s is not. Should Caroline bother working hard at school, or has Scotland become as much of a postcode lottery on education as health? Discuss. If Caroline were going by the 2020 results from the Scottish Qualifications Authority released this week, she might be forgiven for pulling the duvet over her head when schools return next week. For the country’s exam regulator, and by extension the Scottish Government, have made a right porcus auris of matters (that’s pig’s ear to those in the cheap seats).

So, right-off, Caroline and Mary hear that pass rates are up across the three exams and that will put them off? Why? Non sequitur to stay with Rowat’s impressive grasp of the the Latin. Boris loves that kind of thing too.

Anyhow, I don’t think anyone’s wearing those glasses anymore are they?I think we’re going for evidence more these days even if Rowat isn’t.

Readers will have seen much of this before but I’m afraid I’m going to have to repeat it for Rowat.

First, from Glasgow’s Director of Education, Maureen McKenna, who might know a bit about this:

This is a response to all that guff about things in Scottish education being terrible. There are a lot of people painting a very negative picture. We are not saying everything is rosy but what we are saying is that there are a range of statistics out there that point to another side, that create a different narrative.


65%
 The reduction in exclusions nationally between 2006-07 and 2018-19.

22.3% The proportion of pupils achieving five or more awards at Higher or equivalent by the end of S5. This has almost doubled since 2009-10, when the figure was 11.3 per cent

44.4% Proportion of school leavers in the most deprived areas of Scotland achieving at least one Higher or equivalent in 2017-18. In 2012-13 that figure stood at 34.9 per cent

62.2% Proportion of school leavers gaining at least one Higher or equivalent in 2017-18, compared to 55.8 per cent in 2012-13.

https://www.tes.com/news/its-guff-scottish-education-terrible

Second, some comparative figures with our so-successful neighbour:

breakdown of GCSE results issued by the Department for Education (DfE) showed the gap between disadvantaged pupils and others increased for the second year in a row. The introduction of tougher exams appears to have halted the improvement seen in previous years. Just 456 of the 143,000 pupils classed as disadvantaged by the DfE achieved top grade 9s in English and maths last summer, compared with 6,132 out of 398,000 other pupils.

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/feb/06/attainment-gap-widens-disadvantaged-pupils-gcse-results-england

Meanwhile, in Scottish schools, but never to be mentioned by Sarah Smith, the gap is closing. See:

‘94.4% of pupils had a ’positive destination’ including work, training or further study within three months of leaving school last year, official statistics show. The figures also reveal that the gap between those from the most and least deprived communities achieving a positive destination has halved since 2009/10, with an increase in positive destinations for school leavers, from both backgrounds. Over the same period there have been increases at all levels of attainment – the qualifications young people are achieving. For the first time more than 30% of pupils left school with a minimum of five passes at Higher Level or better, up from 22.2% in 2009/10. The gap between those from the most and least deprived areas achieving a pass at Higher Level or better is now at a record low, reducing for the eighth successive year.’

https://news.gov.scot/news/record-high-for-school-leavers-in-positive-destinations

Getting back to the glasses, read these and order a light pink tint?


Attainment for Scotland’s school leavers far greater than in England

Attainment gap widens in England as it HALVES in Scotland, but Sarah Smith lies again

BBC Scotland and Herald mislead you as exam pass rates rise again

Why Scotland’s supposed decline in School Science performance according to Pisa is really a good sign

Standing up for Scottish education as our media parrot Tory myths

Scots more likely to enter Higher Education than those in non-Scottish parts

Growing calls to allow ‘SNP’ education policy to be implemented and for pupils to be allowed to learn

Scottish school-leavers record highest rate of positive destinations ever