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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 and also whether the school intake is from deprived communities or wealthy areas. We also publish a table showing the performance of local authorities.

The information has been drawn from the Scottish Government's database of secondary school exam results, published yesterday on the internet as part of a service for parents. To access the full results and see other measures, such as staying on rates and attendance figures, go to www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scottishschoolsonline/.

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