Pupils and staff at Bearsden Academy are celebrating after gaining Gold SCQF School Ambassador status.
The secondary school in East Dunbartonshire has become only the second school in Scotland, and the first in the local authority area, to reach gold level since the recognition programme was introduced.
Originally piloted 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 three 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.
To recognise its fantastic achievement, Bearsden Academy has received a gold plaque to display in its main reception. The school has been an SCQF Ambassador since 2017 and, to achieve gold, had to demonstrate that the SCQF is embedded in school practice and is offering a significant range of senior phase pathways.
SCQF Partnership Development Officer, Donnie Wood, who manages the programme, said:
“Bearsden has demonstrated a really high level of commitment to the SCQF School Ambassador programme over a number of years. The school has fully embedded the programme into improvement plans, invested a huge amount of time to engage parents and empowered pupils to lead the programme, supported by staff. They have developed an extensive network of partnerships with local businesses, college and universities to ensure their young people are fully equipped with a wide range of qualifications to move to their next destination. Well done to all pupils and staff involved in achieving Gold status as an Ambassador school.”
Head Teacher, George Cooper, added:
"Bearsden Academy's status as a Gold SCQF Ambassador School is a positive and welcome reflection on the hard work of young people, staff and parents in pursuing a wide range of curricular opportunities. Our aim is always to allow young people to take ownership of their own curricular pathways. Meeting the challenge of ensuring all individuals can choose at each stage is key. My thanks go to the support team at the SCQF Partnership in assisting the school in achieving our goals."
Joint Leader of East Dunbartonshire Council, Andrew Polson said:
"Congratulations to everyone at Bearsden Academy on this excellent achievement - a first for East Dunbartonshire! This gold status recognises the hard work and commitment to the Ambassador Programme of everyone at the school over the last five years, despite the immeasurable challenges of the pandemic. Well done Bearsden Academy!"
Councillor Vaughan Moody, Joint Leader of East Dunbartonshire Council added:
"To achieve Gold SCQF School Ambassador status demonstrates the school's determination that every young person has the opportunity to find their route to a positive destination when they leave school. There's a commitment that every learner is supported to find the pathway that best suits their ambition and talent. I am delighted for everyone involved."
The SCQF School Ambassador Programme is free to join and open to any secondary school in Scotland.
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