Jordanhill School takes league table top spot for seventh year in a row

Jordanhill has been named as Scotland’s top performing high school for the seventh year in a row, according to new league tables.

Data published by The Times and Sunday Times Scotland High School League Table has revealed the Scottish Government-funded school has bested all other schools in Scotland, with 89% of leavers attaining five or more highers in 2023.

A pupil who attains five or more highers meets the Scottish Government’s “gold standard”.

Jordanhill is directly funded by the Scottish Government and is independently governed, as opposed to other schools which are funded by councils that exert more influence over where money can be spent.

Bearsden Academy in East Dunbartonshire scored second place, with Mearns Castle High School in East Renfrewshire narrowly missing by 1%, making third place.

East Renfrewshire was crowned the overall highest-performing education authority, with four schools in the top 10.

East Dunbartonshire has three schools in the top 10.

A full, searchable performance table for all Scottish secondary schools is available on The Times website and will be published in its entirety this weekend in The Sunday Times.

With Jordanhill having topped the league tables for so many years in a row, the Scottish Government has been asked to replicate the school’s unique funding model for other places of education to close the gap between government-funded and council-funded schools.

Jenny Gilruth, Scotland’s education secretary, recently visited Jordanhill.

Education secretary Jenny Gilruth (Jane Barlow/PA)
Education secretary Jenny Gilruth (Jane Barlow/PA)

She previously told The Sunday Times: “I think it is an interesting model. I think there is more we can learn from Jordanhill that we are perhaps not learning.”

There are also concerns regarding “grade inflation”, where schools could previously score higher in the tables, but are now scoring lower as standards increase.

One example is Linlithgow Academy, which this year made 10th place in the league tables as 70% of leavers had at least five highers.

However, the last time it made the top 10 was in 2016, with 61% of pupils hitting the mark.

This year, 61% would not get a school into the top 20.

Among the most improved schools was Lochgilphead High, in Argyll, with 36% at gold standard, up 16 percentage points since 2022 and the best result since 2016, where 44% of pupils left school with at least five highers.

Woodmill School, in Fife, one of the biggest schools in Scotland with more than 1,400 pupils, also hit 50% gold standard pupils for the first time.

David McCann, deputy editor of The Times and Sunday Times Scotland, said: “By publishing this information in an accessible and fully searchable guide, we seek to empower parents with information around the performance of their local schools.”