Star Awards 2016

Kaye Adams - 2016 Star Awards

On Friday 11 November, people involved in education in Scotland and beyond came together to celebrate excellence in learning and teaching. The audience heard a host of success stories, making the 2016 Scottish Qualifications Authority Star Awards a memorable, inspiring event.

The ceremony took place in the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh and guests were guided through the evening by presenter Kaye Adams.

Making the evening possible were a number of sponsors, including Skills Development Scotland, Unit4 Business Software, General Teaching Council for Scotland, Education Scotland, the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership, Youthlink Scotland, Hodder Gibson and College Development Network.

The SQA Fellowship

Bruce Robertson OBE - SQA Fellowship

Bruce Robertson OBE

The SQA Star Awards highest accolade, the SQA Fellowship, was presented to Bruce Robertson OBE, former Director of Education, Culture and Sport in Highland Council from 1998–2007, and Director of Education, Learning and Leisure at Aberdeenshire Council from 2007–10.

Prior to entering local authority leadership roles, he spent 17 years working in various schools in north-east Scotland. Between 2010 and 2016 Bruce worked in an advisory capacity with the Scottish Government, the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, and other national agencies.

During this time he supported SQA in the implementation of the National Qualifications framework. Currently, Bruce is chairing a national Early Years Learning and Childcare group and a national group tasked with developing statutory guidance for Gaelic education. He is also co-chair of the national 1+2 Languages group. Bruce was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to education.

Rob Wallen - SQA Fellowship

Rob Wallen, Principal and Chief Executive, North East Scotland College

Rob Wallen has degrees in English Literature and Applied Linguistics. Before joining Aberdeen College in 1991, Rob worked in secondary, further and higher education in Egypt, China and England.

At Aberdeen College he held the posts of Head of Quality Assurance, Associate Principal, and Director of Learning and Teaching, before being appointed Principal and Chief Executive in 2009. In 2013, Aberdeen College merged with Banff & Buchan College to become North East Scotland College. Rob was appointed to the post of Principal and Chief Executive of the new college.

He is also chair of the SCQF Partnership Board, a member of the Board of Colleges Scotland, and a member of the Scottish Qualifications Authority Qualifications Committee..

Pride o' Worth Winner, Individual - Jason Smith

Jason Smith

Jason Smith, a youth work apprentice with Y-Sort It, who recently achieved his level 2 SVQ in Youth Work and is working towards the level 3 qualification, was named Individual Pride o’ Worth winner in recognition of the dedication and commitment he has shown to other young people in West Dunbartonshire.

The judges were impressed with how fully Jason has utilised his SVQ to widen his experience and help his local community. Jason, who now has a full-time contract with Y-Sort It, has set up a football programme with local young people and the police to re-establish relationships.

Speaking before the ceremony, Jason said: 'Completing my level 2 SVQ in Youth Work has given me a lot of confidence. I didn’t have any qualifications before, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far and I hope to do more in the future.'

Pride o' Worth Winner, Centres - Glasgow Caledonian University - Advanced Higher Hub - a partnership with Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Funding Council

Pride o' Worth Centre - Advanced Higher Hub

Glasgow Caledonian University Advanced Higher Hub, a partnership with Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Funding Council, was announced as the Centre Pride o’ Worth winner, after being recognised in the Partnership of the Year category.

The Advanced Higher Hub sees sixth year pupils who would not normally have access to Advanced Higher in their school, enrol at the university campus to complete their qualifications and get a taste for university life.

The 2015/16 cohort of Hub students achieved a 91% pass rate in the Advanced Higher courses, with over 80% of them going on to study at university. Before the results were revealed, Rebecca Lavery, Head of the Advanced Higher Hub at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: 'By working with secondary schools across the city, we’re able offer progression pathways to pupils who otherwise wouldn’t have access to Advanced Higher courses in their schools. We’re able to offer students a taste of university life a year before they leave school, and we’re delighted that over 80% of Hub students go on to full-time study at GCU and other universities.'

SQA Star Awards 2016 - Entertainment

At the SQA Star Awards 2016 the audience were treated to range of musical talent. Chris Corrigan from Perth College UHI welcomed guests with his guitar skills.

5 Strings band, formed within Inveralmond Community High School, thrilled those attending with their eclectic set.

David McNally and Lee Richie attend the Langauage and Communication Centre at Brannock High School and impressed at the Star Awards with their guitar and singing abilities.

Flautist Kirsten Mackay of Port Glasgow High School showcased her talent and Katie Doyle, a student at West College Scotland, lit up the venue with her dazzling singing and piano playing.

A big thanks again from SQA for helping to make it a special evening!

SQA Star Awards 2016 - Category winners and highly commended finalists

SQA Star Awards 2016

We are hugely grateful to all our sponsors who supported the Star Awards 2016.