YOUNG people in the Wee County have received their SQA results this week following years of hard work and pandemic woes.

According to Clackmannanshire Council, the results show an increase in National 5 awards across the county compared to pre-pandemic levels with a 72.7 per cent pass rate overall.

The A-C pass rate in 2021 stood at 84.7 per cent, SQA attainment statistics show, but this year's figures do represent an improvement compared to 2019 when the overall pass rate was 68.7 per cent.

There was also an increase in English National 5 awards relative to pre-pandemic levels, going from 76.8 per cent in 2019 to 79.9 per cent this year.

Cllr Graham Lindsay, spokesperson for education, sent his heartfelt congratulations to the Wee County's young people.

He said: “They have worked so hard and these results are the culmination of years of effort, which we should all applaud.

“The contribution of our dedicated teachers and pupil’s families is also an important part of this success.

“For those young people moving onto the next stage of their lives in education, training or employment, I wish them good luck for this exciting time.

“Pupils who are returning to school will receive a warm welcome and continued encouragement from their teachers to continue to achieve the very best they can in their learning journey.”

During the pandemic years of 2021 and 2020, exams were affected by Covid measures while pupils this year returned to sitting exams for the first time since 2019.

In the past two years, exams were graded on teacher's judgement and supported by assessment resources.

Colin Bruce, recently appointed chief education officer, thanked school staff and partners for their work and said: “I’m really proud of how young people and families have coped with the challenges faced over the past two years.

“The resilience demonstrated from our young people is evident in their ability to achieve.”

In Clackmannanshire, there was also an improvement in mathematics compared to before the pandemic years with National 5 awards at a 65.2 per cent pass rate.

In 2019 this figure stood at 54.8 per cent and was at 72 per cent in 2021.

Before the pandemic, 65.7 per cent of Clacks pupils sitting a Higher exam received an A to C pass grade, the figure improving to 71.9 per cent this year.

Almost half of all young people who passed Higher mathematics received an A grade while the pass rate in Higher English went to 60.1 per cent, compared to 56.5 per cent before the pandemic years.

School staff are available with help and advice for pupils and families where the Skills Development Scotland results helpline is live on 0808 100 8000 with careers advice and tailored information.

Digital mental health platforms are also available for young people with Togetherall designed to support the longer term management of mild to moderate mental health difficulties.

Text-based crisis service Shout is also free, silent, anonymous and off-bill, text “Clacks” to 85258.