Exam Results

Why league tables should be interpreted with caution

Each year, Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) publishes a table of exam results from its member schools, with schools listed in alphabetical order.

Schools are not ranked in any form of league table and efforts to draw meaningful comparisons between schools' performance are discouraged because:

  • schools offer different qualifications
  • schools have different presentation policies on entering pupils for exams at different stages depending on what they judge to be in the best interests of their pupils
  • the cohort of pupils sitting exams varies widely from school to school
  • league tables do not reflect successful appeals (where grades and pass rates have improved)
  • some schools are academically selective while others admit pupils of mixed abilities
  • research carried out by SCIS consistently indicates that exam success is only one of a number of factors considered by parents when choosing an independent school.

SCIS advises parents to choose a school that suits their child's particular needs and abilities and to interpret league tables with caution.

Parents are likely to gain a more accurate understanding of a school's exam performance by asking, for instance, about its leaver destinations and the proportion of pupils who secured a place at their first choice of university.

Latest Exam Results

The latest exam results for independent schools in Scotland, published by SCIS on Thursday 29 August 2013, are available to download, below. Post-appeal results will be published by Christmas. Also available, below, is the SCIS media release highlighting the strong performance by pupils in independent schools. While many schools offer SQA exams, a number also offer A-Level and GCSE, as well as International Baccalaureate (IB).

Facts & Statistics