EXAM results aren’t everything when it comes to the success of young people in Argyll and Bute, according to a senior councillor.

Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, the local authority’s spokesperson for education, made the claim on the day that it was announced that the area was the sixth best in Scotland for school leavers reaching positive destinations.

But not everybody agrees, with Helensburgh councillor Lorna Douglas expressing concern that the area’s average Higher and Advanced Higher pass rates have fallen by around five per cent.

And Councillor Douglas also called for more detailed information on exam results to be made available sooner.

READ MORE: Hermitage Academy has best Higher exam pass rate in Argyll and Bute

Currently, the Insight data, providing a more detailed analysis of results and leavers’ destinations, is due to be presented to the committee in December.

Councillor McNeilly told the authority’s community services committee, which she chairs: “It really hacks me off when we still go down the dreary road that it is all about qualifications.

“We encourage young people to have the best possible education but that’s not all there is.

“We need our young people to do apprenticeships, and training, and stay in Argyll and Bute, as it gives us a terrific story to tell about what they are doing.”

Louise Connor, the council’s education manager, added: “We have plans in place to work with head teachers and we are meeting them on how we can improve outcomes and get positive destinations for all our young people.”

Councillor Douglas responded: “I take on board what is being said, that raising attainment is not just about results, but it is quite disappointing that the results are down. There is no getting away from that.

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“We think it is OK because pupils are going to positive destinations, but qualifications are important because they help young people go on and do what they want to do.

“I don’t think it is right that we get the data just before Christmas. As committee members we should know what is happening within our schools.”

Following the committee’s meeting, the council revealed that 94.8 per cent of 16 to 19 year olds in the area are in employment, education or training, 3.2 per cent higher than the national average.