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Pupils and staff at Johnstone High School are celebrating after gaining Gold SCQF School Ambassador status.

The secondary school in Renfrewshire has become only the fourth 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 important work on enhancing learning pathways being done in secondary schools across Scotland is recognised, highlighted and celebrated.

There are 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, Johnstone High School has received a gold plaque to display in its main reception. In order to achieve gold, the school had to demonstrate that the SCQF is embedded in school practice and is offering a significant range of senior phase pathways.

The school has also dedicated a section of its website to the SCQF, and pupil and staff Ambassadors have produced a video to raise awareness of the SCQF amongst the school community, including parents. 

SCQF Partnership Development Officer, Donnie Wood, who manages the programme, said: “Johnstone High School has shown fantastic engagement with the SCQF School Ambassador programme over the last 2 years with both staff and pupils at the heart of everything they do. The Ambassador programme is fully embedded into the culture of the school and pupils, parents and partners are aware of the range of qualifications and skills young people can develop and achieve. Staff have been innovative in creating new opportunities for learners and introducing exciting qualifications that meet the need of pupils as well as enhancing partnerships with college and local industry.

Huge congratulations to all the staff and pupils involved in achieving SCQF Gold status, only the 4th school in Scotland to reach this level.”

Head Teacher at Johnstone High, Lynne Hollywood, said: “We are delighted to receive the Gold award from the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) as it is recognition of the commitment of Johnstone High staff to ensure our curriculum offer meets the needs of all young people. It also recognises our wonderful SCQF Pupil Ambassadors who have been raising awareness with other young people, and parents, about the wide range of courses and opportunities available in our school.

The SCQF has helped us to get the balance right between vocational and academic qualifications for our young people, and as a result of close partnership working, 99% of our leavers go on to employment, apprenticeships, training or further study.”

Councillor Emma Rodden, Convener for Education and Children’s Services at Renfrewshire Council, said: “Promoting both vocational and academic pathways equally means that all pupils can achieve their potential. It’s fantastic that Johnstone High have become the first school in Renfrewshire to gain Gold status. The approach has meant pupils are now staying on in school for longer, they are happier and attainment has increased. This is because pupils are getting the right courses that suit their needs.”

The SCQF School Ambassador Programme is free to join and open to any secondary school in Scotland.

If you would like your school to get involved, contact Donnie or have a look at the information on our website.


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