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The vast majority of Scottish pupils take Scottish Qualifications Certificate qualifications provided by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). Generally, most pupils take National 4/5s (previously Standard Grades, but some schools offered Intermediates instead) in S3-S4, and Highers in S5. The number of National 4/5 qualifications a pupil enters can vary drastically depending on the individual, with the most common number of National 5s taken, per pupil, in 2017 being 6,[14] however some may choose to undertake as few as one or two, or as many as eight or nine. For those who wish to remain at school for the final year (S6), more Highers and Advanced Highers (formerly Scottish Qualifications Certificate qualifications provided by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). Generally, most pupils take National 4/5s (previously Standard Grades, but some schools offered Intermediates instead) in S3-S4, and Highers in S5. The number of National 4/5 qualifications a pupil enters can vary drastically depending on the individual, with the most common number of National 5s taken, per pupil, in 2017 being 6,[14] however some may choose to undertake as few as one or two, or as many as eight or nine. For those who wish to remain at school for the final year (S6), more Highers and Advanced Highers (formerly CSYS) in S6 can be taken. Previous qualifications Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 – were intended to be roughly equivalent to General and Credit Level Standard Grades respectively.

Pupils can go to university at the end of S5, as Highers provide the entry requirements for Scottish universities where degrees are normally four years long; however, recently it is more common for students to remain until S6, taking further Highers and/or taking Advanced Highers. The majority of English uni

Pupils can go to university at the end of S5, as Highers provide the entry requirements for Scottish universities where degrees are normally four years long; however, recently it is more common for students to remain until S6, taking further Highers and/or taking Advanced Highers. The majority of English universities, the most popular choice for Scottish students who wish to study university degrees outside of Scotland, require Advanced Higher qualification levels as these are deemed by the English universities to be most similar to A-levels.

Secondary education is provided by a number of secondary schools throughout Scotland, both in the state and independent sector. The vast majority of schools in the state sector are administered directly by the local Education Authority, which is synonymous with the 32 councils used for local government. [15]

There are three broad classifications of schools in Scotland:[16]