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7 May 2020 – Secondary

Dear Parents/Carers

I am writing to you to give you an update on the latest figures from our school leavers (2018-19).  These figures are released at the end of February each year and are (once again) among the most positive results the school has ever had, so it is only right I share these with you, the parents of our young people who have achieved so much.  Education research continually points to the importance of your role in the success of young people at school – your support, engagement and encouragement make a huge difference to your children, so you rightly share in their successes, together with the teaching staff of St John’s Academy who work so hard to help our pupils achieve their potential.

Each school’s context is, of course, unique.  Comparing schools directly with one another is hugely problematic as we know factors outwith the control of the school, such as levels of poverty, have an impact on school attainment.  St John’s Academy has the most diverse socio-economic pupil roll within Perth and Kinross and this reflects our Catholic and local communities.  It does, however, make it difficult to compare schools within and across Local Authorities.  The Scottish Government provides schools with an ‘Insight’ tool which helps us compare the achievements of each individual pupil with 10 others from similar backgrounds in 10 other schools from across Scotland.  This is called the ‘Virtual Comparator’.  Using the Virtual Comparator (VC) we can see if pupils within St John’s Academy are doing less well, about the same, or better than young people from similar backgrounds across the country.

I am pleased to be able to inform you that against almost all the key measures, the 2018-19 school leavers of St John’s Academy achieved better than their Virtual Comparators.  These key measures include:

  • Leavers attaining better in literacy at National 4 and National 5, and in numeracy at National 4 and National 5
  • Better total and complementary tariff points for the lowest, middle and highest achieving groups of pupils
  • Better attainment for those living in the most deprived households
  • 99.1% of all leavers entering a positive destination – our highest ever figure, 4.1% higher than our VC, and higher than the national and local authority averages (see graph).  This includes 42.5% going on to higher education, 32% continuing in further education, and 22% entering employment or training.
  • 90% of our leavers achieving at least 5 National 3 awards (5% better than our VC)
  • 87% of our leavers achieving at least 5 National 4 awards (7% better than our VC)
  • 63% of our leavers achieving at least 5 National 5 awards (5% better than our VC)
  • 65% of our leavers achieving at least 1 Higher award (6% better than our VC)
  • 47% of our leavers achieving at least 3 Higher awards (4% better than our VC)
  • 37% of our leavers achieving at least 5 Higher awards (9% better than our VC)
  • 19% of our leavers achieving at least 1 Advanced Higher award (1% better than our VC)

Our school community is naturally very proud of the achievements of all our leavers, whether through exam results, or achieving their dream apprenticeship, job or college/university place.  These achievements represent many individual stories of endurance, resilience and sheer hard work and are an example to those who follow. 

In the current difficult circumstances, it is especially important to me that you have trust and confidence in your school to ‘get it right’ for your child.  I hope this update gives you this as we celebrate together the real successes of the young people of this school.  I ask too that you encourage your child to work hard to always strive to achieve their best, including during this challenging time, where parental support, engagement and encouragement have never been more important. Please remember, our teachers and staff are here to help and support you.

As always, I thank you for your contribution to making our school better.

God bless and every good wish,

Seán P Hagney

Headteacher and Campus Leader

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