Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has congratulated local pupils and teachers on this year’s SQA results.

The Scotland-wide pass rate for National 5 increased by 0.7 percentage points to 78.2%, with a 4.4% increase in passes for English and a 1.3% rise in maths.

Higher pass rates dipped by two percentage points to 74.8%, but there was a 1.4% improvement in results for science subjects.

Education Secretary John Swinney said it was a strong set of results that showed “a degree of year-on-year variation expected in a high-performing education system with credible assessment”.

Mr Matheson said: “Well done to all pupils in Falkirk district who achieved the grades they were hoping for. I wish them all the best for the next chapter in their lives.

“I also want to thank our teachers for all their hard work in the run-up to the exams.

“Inevitably, there will be some pupils who would have been left disappointed at their results but, whatever the outcome, there are many routes into employment or further education for school leavers.

“I encourage anyone who is unsure of the path forward to contact Skills Development Scotland’s free exam helpline for advice on the wide array of opportunities available to them.”

The exam helpline on 0808 100 8000, which is staffed by qualified careers advisers, is open on weekdays until Wednesday, August 14.