Launched in 2015, the SCQF School Ambassador programme offers secondary schools the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of the SCQF and the wider ways in which it supports learners. These include recognising wider achievement, developing Senior Phase learning pathways and demonstrating equality between vocational and academic qualifications.
The SCQF Partnership introduced the tiered recognition element of the programme in August 2020 to make sure that all the amazing work on enhancing learning pathways being done in secondary schools across Scotland is recognised, highlighted and celebrated.
There are now 3 levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) in the process, with schools required to upload evidence to demonstrate how they are meeting the criteria of each level.
Larbert High School was confirmed as the very first Gold level SCQF School Ambassador earlier this year. Jon Reid, Rector at Larbert said:
“We’ve been on a mission at Larbert High School over the last few years to ensure that our Senior Phase curriculum has lots of different pathways that can lead to the same positive destination. We’ve worked with our staff, young people and parents to dispel the myth that Highers are the be-all and end-all of secondary schools, and as a result we have more young people than ever before following more modern, new and contemporary pathways.”
The only Silver Ambassador to date is Stirling High School and Ambassador pupils and Depute Head, Alan Hamilton, are keen to progress to Gold. Alan said,
“The tiered framework provided our Pupil Ambassadors with a clear focus for getting the most out of the SCQF. It allowed them to plan and take ownership of their plans. As a result, the SCQF is embedded across the school and they have clear ideas for their next steps.”
Bronze level schools are located across Scotland and these are currently:
• Castlebrae Community High School, Edinburgh
• Cults Academy, Aberdeen
• Drummond Community High School, Edinburgh
• Kilmarnock Academy
• Monifieth High School
• Newbattle High School, Dalkeith
• St. Matthew’s Academy, North Ayrshire
• West Lothian Skills Centre
Although the schools are all very different, the one thing they have in common is the desire to improve the learning opportunities for, and life chances of, Scotland’s young people.
James McPartlin, Pupil Support Leader at Castlebrae CHS said:
“In June 2021 the school achieved SCQF Ambassador Bronze status. I trained my Leadership level 5/6 class up as SCQF school ambassadors. We had recently completed course choices and were able to use the course choice sheet to identify what courses and levels we were already offering. We realised as a school we already met some criteria at all levels. One of the main tasks was creating a pathways display board. This is now displayed in Guidance. The leadership class are now pursuing level 6 leadership and have 1 period dedicated to working on SCQF Silver level.”
SCQFP Development Officer, Donnie Wood, is keen to engage with schools and work with teachers and pupils to create interesting and inclusive learning pathways.
“We’ve seen huge demand from schools to become involved in the School Ambassador programme over the last month or so, as more and more schools look to utilise the full range of qualifications that sit on the SCQF. Schools can use the SCQF School Ambassador programme to look at developing these learner pathways for pupils and, at the same time, use our resources to help engage parents and pupils to fully understand the Framework.”
The SCQF School Ambassador Programme is free to join and open to any secondary school in Scotland.
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