Secondary schools among Scotlands best

THREE secondary schools in the area have made it into the top ten best performing state schools in Scotland.

Douglas Academy in Milngavie came seventh in the league table with 32 per cent of pupils getting five or more Highers.

Bearsden Academy came ninth with 30 per cent of pupils gaining five or more Highers.

Balfron High School came tenth with 30 per cent of pupils gaining five or more Highers, while Boclair Academy, Bearsden, was twelth with 28 per cent of pupils getting five or more Highers.

East Dunbartonshire’s average for the per cent of pupils gaining five or more Highers came second in the league table at 22 per cent, following on from the leading council, East Renfrewshire, which reached 32 per cent.

East Dunbartonshire education convener Una Walker, said: “As we would expect, and in keeping with previous years, our exam performances are continually improving.”

Bearsden Academy’s headteacher, George Cooper, said: “The school continues to work hard to improve the performance of our students.

“These league tables reflect a positive trend and are the product of the hard work of pupils, school staff and parents.

The performance of individual pupils will continue to be monitored to ensure all are able to attain their full potential.”

Neil Shaw, the headteacher of Boclair Academy, said: “We are very pleased with these excellent results. It reflects a lot of hard work by pupils and staff at the school.”

And Val Corry, the headteacher of Balfron High School, said: “We are particularly pleased with the results for Highers this year. This is the third year we have achieved this level of performance and we now see this as a trend for Balfron High School.

“Four years ago 19 per cent of pupils were achieving five or more Highers.”

The High School of Glasgow, with its feeder Junior School in Bearsden, came second in the league table for private schools with 84 per cent of pupils achieving five or more Highers.

And The Glasgow Academy, which has its feeder Junior School Atholl in Milngavie, achieved 67 per cent, coming eigth in the private schools league table.

Colin Mair, Rector of the High School of Glasgow, said: “We believe that our pupils’ academic success is closely related to our very positive ethos and their wide participation in cultural, sporting and various other opportunities.”

Glasgow Academy Rector, Peter Brodie, said: “The Glasgow Academy enjoyed its highest-ever pass rate at Higher this year, 94.5 per cent.

“The Academy again had the best Advanced Higher results in the West in terms of percentage of A and B grades, as shown on Best-schools.co.uk.”

The debate about whether league tables are a good indicator of whether a school is good or not continues - with many people taking the view that some excellent schools didn’t make it into the top of the results.

Brian Boyd of Strathclyde University, said: “If you were trying to measure what a school does you need to measure what level a young person is when they enter the school and compare that to where they are when they leave – exams do not do that.”

However, those who support the league tables say that it’s the best way to make a local authority accountable for its schools. They argue that often there is a lack of accountability at school level and publishing performance indicators forces headteachers and directors of education to get to grips with poorly-performing schools. On top of this the tables provide parents with information they need to find out how pupils perform at a school.