Alison Johnstone MSP, the Scottish Greens' education spokesperson, today (4 August) congratulated pupils receiving exam results and urged the Scottish Government to address outstanding concerns about the new Maths Higher and teacher workload.

Figures from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) show that there were a record 156,000 Higher passes this year, up 5.5 per cent on 2014. The pass rate for new Highers was 79.2 per cent, and 76.7 per cent for existing Highers, slightly down on the 2014 pass rate of 77.1 per cent.

Passes in Higher English and modern languages are up, while the pass rate for the new Maths Higher is similar to previous years.

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, said:

"Behind these results are young people studying hard and doing well, and I know today will be a day of emotion in many households. I hope all those receiving results have the support they need to plan their next steps; pupils and teachers deserve congratulations.

"While in general most pass rates appear stable, there are still issues for the Scottish Government to tackle. We need an explanation for what went wrong with the Higher Maths exam, which many students found much more difficult than they had anticipated. We also need more support for teachers to address the significant workload pressures they still face.

"We should also not lose sight of the need for an education system that helps shape well-rounded young people. Exams are important but are only one element of what will give young people the life skills to do well in further or higher education, work and wider society."