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Statistical gaffe wipes shine off safe delivery

LAST year 88 per cent of results went out on time. This year, it was 99.7 per cent, according to the SQA. By midweek, the authority was rechecking 450 school and 900 college results before final certificates are issued. That is as close as any system could get to complete success, the Scottish Executive insisted.

Red-faced SQA officials were still reeling from their statistical gaffe in over-estimating the improvements in Higher performance. The initial revelation of a 7.1 per cent increase in performance had to be reduced to a more credible 1.3 per cent at the cost of huge embarrassment to themselves and ministers.

The overall pass rate this year at Higher remains 72.4 per cent. There were 148,356 entries at Higher, a 26 per cent increase. At Advanced Higher there were 6,753 entries while at Standard grade there were 459,364 entries, an increase of 1.5 per cent.

At Intermediate 1 there were 16,003 entries and a further 58,995 for Intermediate II, a 70 per cent increase. A total of 133,711 certificates were sent to candidates.

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