SQA hosts results day celebration for Who Cares? Scotland
Thursday 11 August
Tuesday 09 August was certification day in Scotland when 140,000 young people received their results for the National Qualifications, courses and awards that they completed over the past academic year.
For many of those it was day of nervous anticipation, followed by celebrations or in some cases commiserations with friends and family. But for many care-experienced young people, Results Day can be a difficult time, spent alone without the support of loved-ones.
In an effort to help provide some of that support, SQA in conjunction with Who Cares? Scotland hosted a celebration event to congratulate a group of care-experienced young people from across Scotland on their results.
The event, held at SQA’s offices in Glasgow, saw John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, pay a visit to the candidates and hear first-hand about their experiences working toward their qualifications.
Also in attendance were members of the SQA Board of Management, and the team from Who Cares? Scotland.
Helen Johnson was one of the candidates who was presented with her results at the event. Helen, who received results for Highers in English, Mathematics, Human Biology, Drama, and PE; said: “I’m hoping to be accepted for a place at university to study Social Work”.
Chloe Wyper, who achieved a National Certificate at SCQF level 6 in Acting and Theatre Performance, said: “The course was so much fun, the performance aspect was amazing. I attend the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, but I’m hoping to go on and complete Higher English before moving on to do an HND in Acting and Performance.”
Megan Sutherland, who was earned three Advanced Highers in Mathematics, Biology, and Chemistry, said the experience of working towards the three new courses would serve her well studying for a Maths degree at university, before hopefully going on to teacher training.
SQA Chairman, Graham Houston, said: "Once again I was delighted to meet with the candidates and help them celebrate their achievements. It’s always inspiring to hear directly from young people about their hopes and ambitions, and get a sense of the effort and work they have put into their studies. Today was no exception and on behalf of the SQA Board I’d like to congratulate them.”
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, who presented the young people with their Scottish Qualifications Certificates, said: “It was a real joy and privilege to be at the SQA and Who Cares? Scotland event to celebrate the exam success of some of our looked after young people on results day. It was a powerful reminder to me of my duty to do the best for all of our young people.
“What SQA is doing is a great example of good corporate parenting by showing personal support for young people on what will be a nerve-racking time for care experienced young people as they prepare for the next steps in their life journey. Corporate parenting is not just a responsibility - it is a real opportunity to improve the futures of looked after children and young people. Success relies on many different organisations - including SQA, local authorities, schools, colleges, universities and SDS - recognising they have a critical contribution to make.”
SQA Chief Executive, Dr Janet Brown, said: "Today’s celebrations remind us that our work enables young people to seize their ambitions. SQA qualifications provide a variety of routes to success, but it is the drive and commitment of our candidates, no matter their background, that delivers their goals. We are wholly committed to Who Cares? Scotland and I can vouch for our whole team when I say we are proud of the work we do in being a Corporate Parent.”
Duncan Dunlop, Chief Executive of Who Cares? Scotland said: "SQA has shown incredible leadership by marking the success of care experienced young people in this way. Being a new corporate parent, they knew the first thing they had to do was listen to their children. When they were told young people's achievements aren't celebrated enough, they responded in the way any loving parent would.
"Care experienced young people face some of the worst educational outcomes in Scotland. This event, and the achievements of the young people in attendance, show that this doesn't have to be the case. With the right support, with their corporate parents on their side and with their communities championing then, young people in care can have an equal chance at a positive future.”
As part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, the Scottish Government named SQA and 23 other public bodies as "Corporate Parents" to young people in care. This meant a duty was placed on them to listen to the needs and wishes of children and young people in care, and for them to be proactive in their collective efforts to address these.
Who Cares? Scotland is a national voluntary organisation, which provides a range of advocacy, advice and support services across Scotland for children and young people with experience of care up to the age of 25. Who Cares? Scotland is commissioned by the Scottish Government to provide training for National Corporate Parents.