Falkirk SCOTS programme graduates celebrate

Liam & Ashley

Falkirk SCOTS programme graduates celebrate

High school pupils from the Falkirk area who took part in this year’s School-College Opportunities to Succeed (SCOTS) programme, were presented with certificates this week to recognise their hard work over the past year.

At a special event held at Forth Valley College’s Falkirk Campus Main Hall on the afternoon of Tuesday 23 May, the students were joined by their parents, College staff school teachers and VIPs from Falkirk Council - including David MacKay Head of Education - who were all keen to celebrate the fourth graduation ceremony of the successful programme.

Three prizes were also presented to SCOTS pupils who excelled in various areas this year. Liam Wells from Falkirk High School won the Inspire Award, Owen McCullagh from Grangemouth High School scooped the Outstanding Personal Achievement prize and the Learner of the Year 2017 was presented to Ashley Bell from Bo’ness Academy.

The ground-breaking partnership between Forth Valley College and Falkirk Council, SCOTS, allowed mainly fourth year pupils to attend college one afternoon per week to experience eight different subjects including construction; hair and beauty; engineering; business; administration and tourism; care; fitness, health and exercise; creative industries and science and to work towards the Falkirk Employability Award throughout the course.

Within the local schools, the young people involved worked with teachers to improve their skills for learning, skills for work and skills for life.  They also developed employability skills such as - researching for jobs, creating a CV, preparing for interviews and also learning more about the “taster” subjects they were undertaking within Forth Valley College. 

Forth Valley College Principal Dr Ken Thomson, said:

“Once again we are delighted to be here to honour S4 pupils from the Falkirk area who have completed the full SCOTS course and are graduating today. We hope they found it to be worthwhile and of great benefit in helping them make up their minds as to which study route they might want to take in life. As has been the case from the previous SCOTS alumni, many of those who took part may well apply for a further course here at Forth Valley College and we look forward to seeing them back at the College very soon.

“The SCOTS programme has certainly been a great success and an excellent example of the close working partnership between Forth Valley College and Falkirk Council. We are already looking forward to welcoming our next cohort of learners from Falkirk schools who will be able to experience the benefits of the SCOTS programme at Forth Valley College.”

David Mackay, Head of Education at Falkirk Council, said:

“I was delighted to see so many of our young people graduating today on their completion of the SCOTS course.  It is a testament to their hard work and dedication throughout the year.  The ongoing joint support the young people receive from the collaboration between Falkirk Council and Forth Valley College staff is a major factor in this success.  I am confident that many will continue their studies at the College next session.”

The innovative SCOTS programme is succeeding in helping disengaged school pupils progress to positive destinations.  

A remarkable 99% of the 104 pupils who undertook the pilot SCOTS Programme in 2013/14 have now progressed to college, training or employment or remained at school to continue their studies.  All these students have now left school and almost half - 49% - have continued into Full-Time College courses.

In addition, all 107 pupils on the programme during 2014/15 successfully completed it with current figures showing 97% of students have progressed to a positive destination pending further information on the remaining 3%.

While in 2015/16, of the 121 who began the course in Falkirk, 96% successfully completed the SCOTS programme and moved on to a positive a positive destination.

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