Scottish Qualifications Authority publishes results for 2019 National Courses and Awards

Tuesday 06 August 2019

  • The number of Course entries for National Qualifications is 636,085 representing an increase of 1,754 compared to 2018 (634,331)
  • Attainment of SQA Awards, National Progression Awards, and National Certificates has increased from 41,526 in 2018 to 44,744 in 2019
  • A-C attainment rate for National 5 (78.2%) has increased by 0.7 percentage points compared to 2018 (77.4%)
  • A-C attainment rate at Higher (74.8%) has decreased by 2.0 percentage points compared to last year (76.8%) and Advanced Higher (79.4%) has decreased by 1.1 percentage points compared to 2018 (80.5%)
  • More than 60,000 candidates receiving their results by text and/or e-mail

The Scottish Qualifications Authority today (Tuesday 6 August 2019) announces the results for National Courses, and a range of vocational qualifications for 2019.

Results certificates have been sent to more than 133,000 candidates across Scotland. Candidates have been rewarded for completing coursework, exams and unit assessments for the 2018-19 academic year in a wide range of qualifications and subjects at all levels.

These qualifications include Nationals, Highers and Advanced Highers for candidates in schools and colleges. In addition, a range of vocational qualifications such as SQA Awards, Skills for Work courses, National Progression Awards and National Certificates are also being certificated today. These form part of a broad offering of qualifications which support learners to progress into employment, training, further and higher education.

Throughout the year, SQA also awards a number of qualifications such as Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs), Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), which supports the Scottish Government in both its youth employment strategy, and its wider economic strategy. Our qualifications are also being taken as part of Foundation Apprenticeships, which are available to school learners, allowing them to complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship and spend part of their school week at college and with a local employer.

Fiona Robertson, SQA’s Chief Executive and Scotland’s Chief Examining Officer, said:

“First and foremost, I would like to congratulate each and every candidate who received results today. Qualifications play an important role in allowing young people to pursue their ambitions, whether that be continued education and training, or entering into employment.

“At the SQA we’re encouraged by learners achieving awards through a wide variety of routes. We are proud to offer a broad range of qualifications which ensures educational attainment is as accessible as possible, and provides learners with the right skills and knowledge to meet the requirements of employers, training providers and educators.

“Finally, I would like to sincerely thank all our staff and our appointees who work all year to ensure the smooth and successful delivery of SQA courses, culminating in results day.”

 

The National Attainment Statistics summary is available (320 KB). Full copies of the National Attainment Statistics 2019, and the Chief Examiner's Report 2019 can be accessed here.

Summary of entries, attainment and attainment rates for each National Qualification type, 2019 and 2018

SCQF level National Qualification 2019 Entries 2019 Attainment 2019 Attainment rate 2018 Entries 2018 Attainment 2018 Attainment Rate
SCQF 2 National 2† 2,070 1,596 77.1% 2,077 1,655 79.7%
SCQF 3 National 3† 19,285 16,958 87.9% 17,646 16,138 91.5%
Skills for Work† 13 0 0.0% 11 7 63.6%
SCQF 4 National 4† 104,866 92,845 88.5% 106,033 96,613 91.1%
Skills for Work† 3,698 2,869 77.6% 3,601 2,855 79.3%
SCQF 5 National 5* 288,552 225,594 78.2% 281,785 218,201 77.4%
Skills for Work† 8,023 6,633 82.7% 6,632 5,702 86.0%
SCQF 6 Higher* 185,914 138,972 74.8% 191,951 147,419 76.8%
Skills for Work† 204 160 78.4% 264 215 81.4%
SCQF 7 Advanced Higher* 23,460 18,627 79.4% 24,331 19,585 80.5%
Total   636,085     634,331    
  Scottish Baccalaureate* 157 109 69.4% 155 120 77.4%

*For National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher, which are graded, the attainment and attainment rate is based on Grade A-C attainment. The Scottish Baccalaureate attainment is based on the total number of passes (“Distinction” or “Pass” outcomes).

†For National 2 to National 4, and Skills for Work courses, which are ungraded, the attainment and attainment rate is based on entries which have resulted in a pass.

English

There were 45,593 entries at National 5 in 2019, an increase from 44,477 in 2018 with an A-C attainment rate of 86.3% representing an increase from 84.8% last year. At Higher level there were 35,461 entries this year compared to 36,185 in 2018, with an A-C attainment rate of 73.2%, a decrease from 75.9% in 2018.

Mathematics

There were 41,586 entries at National 5, which is in line with 2018’s figure (41,590), with an A-C attainment rate of 65.5%, an increase of 0.8 percentage points compared to the 64.7% observed last year. At Higher level there were 18,626 entries this year compared to 18,753 in 2018, with an A-C attainment rate of 72.4% compared to 74.5% in 2018.

Applications of Mathematics (Formerly Lifeskills Mathematics)

There were 4,458 entries at National 5, compared to 2,482 in 2018, representing an increase of 79.6%. An A-C attainment rate of 58.5% represented an increase from 57.8% last year.

National Progression Awards (NPAs) and National Certificates (NCs)

Attainment figures for National Progression Awards (NPAs) and National Certificates (NCs) are also included. In total, 13,136 NPAs and 4,873 NCs have been achieved compared to 12,474 NPAs and 6,201 NCs in 2018. NPAs are designed to assess a defined set of skills and knowledge in specialist vocational areas, such as Construction and Childcare.

National Certificates are designed to prepare people for employment, career development or progression to more advanced study in areas such as Sound Production and Fabrication and Welding Engineering.

SQA Awards

Attainment figures for SQA Awards are included in the statistics. In total, 26,735 have been achieved in 2019, compared to 22,851 in 2018, representing an increase of 17.0%.

SQA Awards are designed to develop and provide evidence of specific skills that will help learners in the world of work and everyday life. Awards include Modern Languages for Life and Work, Employability, Scottish Studies and Enterprise.

Summary of attainment for Awards, National Progression Awards and National Certificates, at each SCQF level, 2015 to 2019

  Attainment
  2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
SCQF level 1
Awards 439 386 290 283 207
SCQF level 2
Awards 1,004 664 1,167 750 493
National Progression Awards 69 121 88 77 64
SCQF level 3
Awards 4,428 3,937 4,303 3,863 3,205
National Certificates 7 0 1 18 7
National Progression Awards 100 142 177 135 119
SCQF level 4
Awards 10,292 9,851 10,834 11,391 9,673
National Certificates 223 213 345 371 273
National Progression Awards 4,371 4,759 4,803 4,958 4,336
SCQF level 5
Awards 5,184 3,755 3,662 2,907 1,952
National Certificates 1,809 2,450 2,691 4,103 3,219
National Progression Awards 5,252 4,604 4,395 4,958 4,120
SCQF level 6
Awards 5,388 4,258 3,523 2,710 1,305
National Certificates 2,834 3,538 3,585 4,920 3,989
National Progression Awards 3,344 2,848 1,619 1,611 969
TOTAL 44,744 41,526 41,483 43,055 33,931

Skills for Work

Skills for Work courses – available across SCQF levels 2-6, are also included in the attainment statistics. In total, 9,662 Skills for Work courses have been achieved, representing an increase of 10.1%.

Skills for Work courses focus on the world of work and the generic employability skills needed for success in the workplace. The courses offer opportunities for learners to acquire these critical generic employability skills through a variety of practical experiences that are linked to a particular vocational area such as construction, hairdressing, and hospitality.

Young people taking one of these Skills for Work courses will normally spend some of their time at a local college, other training provider or employer.

  2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
Entries 11,938 10,508 10,341 10,008 11,883
Attainment 9,662 8,779 8,665 8,513 9,980
Attainment rate 80.9% 83.5% 83.8% 85.1% 84.0%