SQA Star Awards 2013 - Winners Announced

Star Awards 2013 logoThe Scottish Qualification Authority held its annual Star Awards on Friday 8 November, when learners from across Scotland gathered to celebrate scores of outstanding achievements and success stories.

Among the big winners on the night were student Jamie Sweeney from Glasgow who was named College Candidate of the Year and Glasgow Clyde College and ScottishPower, who collected the Star Award for Partnership of the Year.

Both Jamie and the Glasgow Clyde College / ScottishPower partnership went on to collect SQA’s prestigious Pride o’ Worth Awards for Individuals and Centres respectively.

Former Arran High School pupil Iona Flewitt and Alexander Fyfe from Balmullo in Fife, who attended Madras College, were jointly awarded the title School Candidate of the Year; Iona has since gone on to study medicine at university while Alexander now attends the London School of Economics with a view to a career in the civil service.

Madras College alumni scooped a deserved double on the night as another former pupil Andrei Ruskuc was presented with the Star Award for Academic Excellence.  Emma Rankin from George Watson’s College in Edinburgh and Maria Tatulea-Codrean, who attended Dollar Academy in Clackmannanshire, were highly commended in what was a fiercely competitive category.

Also collecting awards on the night were ASET Oil and Gas Training Academy from Aberdeen who picked up the International Award and West College Scotland (Paisley Campus) who won the Innovation Award for their use of gaming technology to create learning and teaching resources.

SQA also awarded its highest accolade, the SQA Fellowship, to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to education and training in Scotland. This year, Fellowships was awarded to Christine Pollock CBE and Professor John Simmons FRSE FIMechE.

SQA Star Awards recognise individuals and schools, colleges, training organisations and employers who deliver SQA qualifications and have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to learning.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, SQA Chief Executive, Dr Janet Brown, said: “Once again I have been overwhelmed by the quality our finalists’ achievements.  Some have overcome challenging personal circumstances and defied expectations while others have shown incredible initiative and commitment to succeed in their chosen disciplines.

Dr Brown continued: “More than ever, qualifications are an essential component of an individual’s successful progress from education and training into further study and employment.  Our Star Awards ceremony is an opportunity to congratulate learners’ on their achievements but also acknowledge the fantastic work of our centres – schools, colleges, training providers and employers who deliver our qualifications – and the people who give learners the guidance and encouragement they need to realise their potential.”

Pride o’ Worth winner Jamie Sweeney, said: “I got into my college course after volunteering at my local youth project.  Once I started my HNC, I began to seriously consider a career in community work as I wanted to give something back to the services that helped me.  Now I’m at university studying community development and I’m keen on pursuing a career with the police or other community projects.”

David Innes, Director of the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment at Glasgow Clyde College, said: “Our partnership with ScottishPower is an extremely positive one. Over the past two years, we have worked together to offer vocational training to over twenty young men who, in the past, have been excluded from mainstream education. Winning two SQA Stars awards is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the staff at Glasgow Clyde College and Scottish Power.”

Ann Loughrey, Head of CSR at ScottishPower, said:  “Our PowerSkills Programme, supported through the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities initiative, is a great example of the private and public sector coming together to achieve a common goal of building the next generation of our workforce. We are delighted by the success of the programme to date and are honoured to be recognised by the SQA in this way.”

The SQA Star Awards, held at Glasgow Clyde College’s Anniesland Campus, were hosted by TV and radio presenter Kaye Adams and supported by a number of sponsors, including Hodder Gibson, Skills Development Scotland, the SCQF Partnership, CBI Scotland, Youthlink Scotland and Education Scotland.

Full details of all the winners and highly commended entries, photos and videos from the night are available here.