THE attainment gap between Glasgow's richest and poorest pupils has been laid bare with the publication of new figures.

Latest stats show more than double the number of pupils from well off backgrounds gain five or more Highers than those from the more deprived areas.

But Glasgow pupils in the least affluent areas are still out-performing their peers at a national level.

Glasgow has high levels of deprivation with around 56% of the city's school leavers living in the 20% most deprived postcodes in Scotland and only around 6% living in the 20% least

deprived postcodes.

Some 2578 school leavers in 2020 live in the most deprived postcodes, known as the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) quintile one.

Of those in SIMD1, 38.6% gained three or more Highers and 24.9% gained five or more.

Of those in the most affluent postcodes, SIMD5, 78.1% left school with three or more Highers and 61.3% left with five or more Highers.

Nationally, Glasgow pupils in the most deprived areas perform consistently better than their peers from across Scotland.

And those in the most deprived areas are showing more improvement in exam attainment than those in the most affluent areas.

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: "Exams last year, like 2021, were cancelled because of the ongoing health pandemic so it would be wrong to make any comparisons to previous years.

"However, our data shows that senior pupils, especially in some of our most deprived areas, continue to raise the bar and have gained more qualifications to enable them to continue on their learning journey.

"Our commitment is to ensure that Glasgow’s young people achieve the qualifications they’ve worked extremely hard for and deserve."

Attainment at Higher level has been increasing in Glasgow and nationally over the past five years, however the city still lags behind the national average.

In 2020, 47.7% of pupils gained three or more Highers and 32.7% gained five or more Highers.

This is an increase from 2019 when the figures were 45.8% for three or more Highers and 30.3% for five or more Highers.

For 2020, that puts Glasgow around 7% behind the national average for both measures.

In 2019 this was around 5% for both.

A report by education director Maureen McKenna explains that the 2020 exam results, which were compiled from teacher estimates, do not provide a direct comparison to previous years.

Schools closed in March last year and the examination diet was cancelled with schools submitting estimates of pupils' grades.

The report reads: "The results for 2020 should not be used to directly demonstrate subject, school or authority improvement compared with previous years.

"However, analysis of data supports improvement and given that 2021 results are also going to be based on teacher judgement then it is important to consider 2020 comparing to previous years to assist in ensuring that all young people are able to achieve their potential."

In Glasgow, there were 4307 leavers in 2019/20 with 9.5% leaving after S4.

There were 1097 leavers from S5, 25.5% of all school leavers, and 2801 pupils left at the end of S6, which is 65%.

Nationally those figures are 11.4% from S4, 25.8% from S5 and 62.8% from S6.

The report reads: "We have been working very hard to improve our learner pathways through the senior phase and have young people stay on longer at school.

"Therefore, it is pleasing to see that our S6 leavers continue to compare positively to national figures."