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How we tally up the scores

The Herald today provides a comprehensive guide to the exam performance of the highest-achieving Scottish schools.

To determine our "league tables" we use the benchmark figures popular with employers and universities – the percentage of pupils passing five or more Highers at grades A to C by the end of S5.

As exam results are so often linked to the relative social mix of the school, we also include data for the percentage of children on free school meals, the best available indicator of poverty.

By combining the two sets of data, we can see both how well pupils perform in exams at particular schools and also whether the school intake is from deprived communities or wealthy areas.

We have also published figures for schools in the private sector and local authority averages.

Where schools have the same percentage of pupils passing five or more Highers, schools are ranked on the basis of the percentage of pupils on free school meals.

As a result, some schools that performed at the same level as those in the Top 60 table have not been included.

The information has been drawn from the Government's database of Scottish school exam results, published yesterday on the internet as part of a service for parents.

To access the full results for all schools, go to www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scottishschoolsonline/index.asp.

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