North Ayrshire's National Five exam pass rates are again below the national average, official figures have revealed, however more pupils than ever have gained their qualifications across the region to celebrate the confirmation of their grades.

Final exam results from the Scottish Qualifications Authority were delivered to around 145,000 pupils across Scotland on Tuesday.

3,300 senior pupils in North Ayrshire received official confirmation of their achievements under the SQA Alternative Certification Model - which replaced the standard examination diet across the country due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pass rate for National 5 in North Ayrshire in 2021 was 82 per cent, which is 5.2 per cent above the national average.

The council also confirmed 3,716 Highers were achieved (at grades A-C) in North Ayrshire schools, with a quarter of all S5 pupils in North Ayrshire achieved at least four Highers this year.

In "normal" years, the pass rate for Higher exams has been sitting between 75 per cent and 78 per cent. In 2020, the first year when there were no exams due to Covid, it was 89 per cent.

This year the rate is 87.3 per cent, down slightly on 2020 but still much higher than usual.

432 Advanced Highers were awarded (at grades A-C) to S6 North Ayrshire learners - which is the most successful year on record for the local authority.

Andrew McClelland, Head of Service for Education at North Ayrshire Council, said: “It has been another challenging year and a massive thanks must go to all our teachers and staff for their efforts during these testing times.

“I extend a huge congratulations to all our pupils who received their results officially today, having been informed of their provisional results by their school before the end of term. On behalf of the whole staff team in the Education Service, I would like to recognise the significant effort applied by our young people, supported by their families, which has led to the achievement of success in the face of extraordinary challenges this year.

“As always, we recognise that a small number of pupils will be disappointed with their results but we want to make sure that every pupil in North Ayrshire is supported and teachers and staff will be there to help them navigate the appeals process.

“There is also a range of helplines and other support that pupils and families can access to guide them as they consider their next steps.”

Young people can call Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) Results Helpline for dedicated results support from 8 am on Tuesday August 10.

The free helpline offers advice, information and guidance for young people and their parents and carers and the number to call is 0808 100 8000.

The SDS Helpline advisers will also be available on social media, by direct message to My World of Work on Facebook at or Instagram at