PUPILS across Scotland have been celebrating the record results in their National, Higher and Advanced Higher exams.

In East Renfrewshire, 171 pupils gained five or more Highers at A grade - up from 141 the previous year - while the authority also had its highest ever percentage of pupils gaining three or more Highers.

Christopher McCloy, 17, a pupil at St Luke's High School, in Barrhead, was delighted to secure five A grades at Higher, citing his late cousin Michael Connor as his inspiration for his achievement.

Loading article content

Michael was Dux at St Luke's and an outstanding pupil before leaving after sixth year for university in 2012. He took ill with a rare cancer soon after and passed away in January 2013.

"My cousin has definitely been my inspiration. He did brilliantly at St Luke's, being selected as Dux," Christopher said.

"If I can do half as well as him in my final year I will be delighted with that. To be chosen as Dux would be absolutely amazing as I would be following in his footsteps."

Another St Luke's pupil Yahqoot Anwaar-Bhatti, 16, also from Barrhead, got five Highers at A and wants to go on and study medicine.

"The mail normally comes at about five past nine, but on the day of the results the postman didn't arrive until about quarter to ten so I was pacing the floor," he said.

"I want to study medicine - it's something I've always been interested in. My dad's a staff nurse and my uncle is a doctor. It's great to have five As as I now have the minimum entry qualifications."

Elaine Green, East Renfrewshire Council's education convener, said: "I am delighted with the results across all seven of our secondary schools."

Other councils performing well included East Ayrshire, where pupils have bucked the national trend with Higher and Advanced Higher results the best on record at a time when overall pass rates have dipped slightly.

Graham Short, the council's executive director of education said: "I'm really pleased with this year's results, particularly in the Higher Grades and wish to congratulate the young people on their hard work and express my thanks to the staff who have supported them." Edinburgh City Council said early indications were that candidates in Scotland's capital had improved.

By the end of S5, 54 per cent of all pupils achieved one or more Highers - a two percentage point improvement on last year and a 12 percentage point improvement since 2009.

Meanwhile, in Glasgow, the number of young people achieving one or more Advanced Highers has more than doubled in the last seven years - from five per cent in 2007 to 11.5 per cent in 2014.

Stephen Curran, executive member for education, said: "Glasgow's young people will be celebrating with more of our pupils than ever before gaining awards in SQA exams."