PUPILS in Argyll and Bute have bucked the national trend after the area showed an improvement in its Higher exam pass rate.

And it’s all smiles at Lomond School in Helensburgh too after the local independent school recorded a pass rate of more than 90 per cent at all exam levels.

A total of 78.79 per cent of Higher students at Argyll and Bute Council’s schools received a pass – up by nearly three per cent on the 2016-17 rate – when pupils across the country received their eagerly-awaited results on Tuesday morning.

That compared to the national figure released by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) of 76.8 per cent, a fall from 77 per cent the previous year.

The number of Advanced Higher passes in Argyll and Bute also increased by nearly five per cent from 2017, with 81.9 per cent of students being successful.

And every pupil in the area who sat a National 3 or 4 exam can also be delighted with their efforts – because they passed.

The SQA’s figures, released on Tuesday, showed that 100 per cent of those students in the area gained their qualification.

National 5 pass results showed a slight decrease in the area to 79.86 per cent, down by 1.24 per cent.

Councillors across the area have moved to congratulate pupils and teachers on their success, while also reminding those who didn’t get the results they wanted that support is available.

Ellen Morton, chair of the authority’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee, said: “We said education was a higher priority and we have delivered on that.

“We knew we had improvements to make after a critical report a couple of years ago.

“We placed a very strong focus on education and thought about how best to help our young people.

“Exam results are not the be all and end all, but they are very important. I am very happy with the results and the young people and parents will be happy as well.

“It is great that we are doing well.”

At Hermitage Academy, senior school staff will be available this Friday, August 10, between 10am and 2pm to discuss any changes in courses with students and parents.

Detailed exam results for Hermitage’s pupils were not published on Tuesday but are expected to be made public later this year.

Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, Argyll and Bute’s policy lead for education, said: “Pupils and teachers can be proud of their efforts, with their success reflected in the results.

“I would like to pass on my congratulations to them all and to thank them for all of their hard work.”

Meanwhile, at Lomond School in Helensburgh, a record 97 per cent of Higher pupils gained passes in all five of the Highers they sat.

Three quarters of all Higher passes were at A and B grades, and one in every five pupils were awarded all 5 Highers at A grade.

Three pupils – including the dux of the school, Emma Dunn, and Cara Malcolm from Dumbarton – each achieved an outstanding six Highers at A grade in addition to the eight A grade National 5s last year.

Eighty-five per cent of S4 pupils achieved six or more National 5 awards, with three quarters of the year group gaining eight National 5s at one sitting.

Notable Helensburgh achievers among Lomond’s ranks this year included Anna von Kaehne, who achieved nine National 5 A grades, and high-flying elite athlete, Ruairidh Scott-Brown, who gained all four of his Advanced Higher awards at A grade.

Angus Guy, Scotland’s under-17 Scotland cricket team captain and this year’s school captain, achieved all five of his Highers at A grade.

For those pupils who didn’t receive the exam results they hoped for, Skills Development Scotland’s helpline is available to provide advice and support.

The helpline operates between 9am and 5pm on weekdays until Wednesday, August 15.