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Details of how the targets will work

Secondaries have been set seven targets. The first two require virtually all of the fourth year - 96 per cent - to have a Standard grade (1-6) in English and in maths.

Three are based on the numbers in fourth year with five or more Standard grades at 1-6, five or more at 1-4 and five or more at 1-2.

Some schools will be expected to achieve the maximum 10 per cent improvement on the top four Standard grade levels over the first three years of the targets. The minimum increase at these levels is 4 per cent.

The next target is for the proportion of the fourth year attaining three or more Higher passes. Here the maximum increase demanded is 6 per cent and minimum 2 per cent.

The final target is for the numbers gaining five or more Highers, with a maximum improvement of 4 per cent and a minimum 1 per cent.

These targets have to be agreed between schools and education authorities and submitted to the HMI audit unit by June 5.

Provisional targets covering reading, writing and maths in primary and the first two years of secondary will be issued in September, after the 5-14 test results have generated benchmarking data. These targets will have to be finalised by late November.

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