Star Awards 2019

Carol Smillie presenting Star Awards 2019Pupils and students, teachers, lecturers, employers, and training providers from across Scotland and further afield gathered in Glasgow on Friday 15 November to hear a host of success stories at the 2019 Scottish Qualifications Authority Star Awards.

The ceremony, held in the city’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, was hosted by TV personality and entrepreneur Carol Smillie and with the support of a number of sponsors, including the College Development Network, Education Scotland, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, SCQF Partnership, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Training Federation, and YouthLink Scotland.

The SQA Fellowship

Dr Paul Thomson is congratulated by Fiona Robertson, SQA Chief Executive and David Middleton, SQA Chair
Dr Paul Thomson (centre) is congratulated by Fiona Robertson, SQA Chief Executive and David Middleton, SQA Chair

The SQA Fellowship was presented to Dr Paul Thomson, Rector of Jordanhill School.

Paul has been Rector of Jordanhill School, which celebrates its centenary in 2020, since 1997. He served two terms on the SQA board, chairing the Qualifications Committee and the Advisory Council. Paul was a board member of the Scottish Examination Board 1990–98 and a member of the Education Committee of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 2008–13. He was also a board member of Cancer Support Scotland 2013–19 and convenor of its Governance Committee. Paul participated in the UK-China Bridge in 2014, and Jordanhill School now hosts a Chinese Language Centre. He won the UK ICT Leadership Award in 2006.

SQA Pride o’ Worth (Individual) – Dean Clark

Dean Clark receiving award from John Swinney MSP
Dean Clark is congratulated by John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education

Former Retail Management student Dean Clark lifted SQA’s prestigious individual Pride o’ Worth Award, after earlier being named College Candidate of the Year. Whilst a student at Edinburgh College, Dean led a group of 30 students, from the college’s Access courses to HND level, in launching ‘Bizarre-Bazaar’, the College’s first student-led shop.

Apprentice joiners and painters fitted out and decorated the shop; work by Art and Design students went on sale; and job seekers gained experience and confidence as volunteers. News of its success spread, and the Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP, paid a visit in January 2019.

SQA Pride o’ Worth (Centre) – Dumfries and Galloway College and The Usual Place

Dumfries and Galloway College and The Usual Place receiving award from John Swinney MSP
John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education congratulates Dumfries and Galloway College and The Usual Place

Dumfries and Galloway College and The Usual Place, a social enterprise café in Dumfries, have created a unique partnership that is enabling young people with learning disabilities and additional support needs to achieve SVQs in Professional Cookery, Retail Services, and Hospitality Services at SCQF level 4, and Facilities Services at SCQF level 5. Bespoke programmes of learning use the café as a medium, developing important life skills in cooking and serving the public. Almost all the young people progress to employment, further education or work experience — 14 have achieved SVQs and 16 more are working towards achievement.

Other winners on the night

Collage of Star Awards winners

The SQA Star Awards are unique, recognising both the individuals who work towards and the organisations that deliver SQA qualifications; rewarding those that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to education and training.

Other winners on the night included Declan Shafi, who was named School Candidate of the Year, whilst Fathima Irshad was presented with the award for Lifelong Learning Candidate of the Year. Catherine Schlag was named the Training Organisation Candidate of the Year and Lee Suddaby was presented with the Academic Excellence award. Meanwhile, Alan Deans was named SQA Champion and Joan Duncan was named SQA Appointee of the Year.

Dundee International Women’s Centre received the Promoting Inclusion award and a partnership between Glasgow Clyde College and the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice was recognised in the Innovation of the Year category. Further afield, Castle Rushen High School on the Isle of Man was named Centre of the Year in the UK and Ireland and The Foundation for Social Improvement received the Lifelong Learning Centre award. Dimensions International College in Singapore was named as the winner of the International award.

Entertainment and Sponsors

Entertainment at Star Awards

Entertaining our finalists and guests at the ceremony were talented young performers from Scotland’s schools.

Jazz pianist Neil McCracken and saxophonist Eve Boulos, both pupils at St.Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, wowed the audience with their musical talent.

Braidhurst High Saxophone Ensemble also impressed the Star Awards audience. The ensemble perform with their school concert band and various North Lanarkshire Council music groups.

Olivia Godfrey and Tatiana Duzy are music students at Biggar High School in South Lanarkshire, where they play guitar, piano and sing. The Star Awards audience were blown away by their uplifting musical piece called ‘When You Believe’.

SQA Star Awards 2019 - Category winners and highly commended finalists

Thanks once more to all our SQA Star Awards sponsors, without whom the ceremony could not take place.