FA Accounting students and lecturers
Scottish first for FVC Accountancy students
Dedication and determination from teenage Accountancy students has added up to a Scottish first for Forth Valley College’s Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) programme.
Despite the impact of the pandemic lockdown cancelling exams and leading to a scenario where the senior school pupils would not be able to complete work placements and Association of Accountancy Technicians (AAT) qualifications, the nine strong group of students – supported by enthusiastic lecturers – worked through the summer holidays to get the desired results.
This outstanding collaboration led to six of the nine becoming Scotland’s only full FA Accountancy graduates and three others achieving the National Progression Award and letters of recognition.
The students involved were: Izaac Fyall from Alva Academy , Max Gemmell from Bo’ness Academy, Sara Hendry from Larbert High School, Cameron Murphy and Paul Murphy from Alva Academy and Toni Philp from Alloa Academy all attained the full FA award.
While Regane Lade and Flynn Cribb from Larbert High School and Cameron McMillan from St Modans High School received the NPA and a letter of recognition.
Jennifer Hogarth, Curriculum Manager in the Department of Business and Communities, said: “FA Accountancy pupils on both our fast track and 2 year model who were due to complete in June 2020 were understandably disappointed about the fact they may miss out on not achieving the full award. But After discussions and encouragement from their college lecturers - Debbie Irvine, Leanne Inch and Kirsty Redfern - they took the very mature decision to continue with their studies throughout the summer holiday period and prepare for the exams when the college building re-opened in August.
“This meant that lecturers set them tasks and study activities to complete over the summer period and they attended refresher workshops in August when the campus opened up safely again. Exams were set up and managed (in a socially distant format) and we are delighted that six of our learners were able to achieve the full FA Accountancy qualification. We then later found out that our learners were the only ones, across Scotland, who achieved the full FA Accountancy award, which made it even more special.
“As curriculum manager for the accountancy programmes at the College I was over the moon at the positive and can do attitude of these pupils, and by the staff members supporting them. It has been one of the most challenging years for everyone, but the tenacity and commitment these young people demonstrated towards their studies was just remarkable.
“They helped and supported each other throughout the pandemic lockdown period, kept group chats going and participated in regular online classes with their lecturers. They knuckled down and completed their studies with determination and sheer hard work. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with these young people. I could not be more proud of them, it is clear they all have very bright futures ahead of them. I must also give special thanks to the work of the lecturing staff who supported them every step of the way and made sure they achieved their qualifications.
“Four of the group have now progressed onto full-time university programmes and the remaining five have returned to the College to complete the full-time HND accountancy programme. Two of the learners have also been put forward for the FA of the year award. For the year of disruption we had, I don’t think we could have asked for a better outcome.”
Dylan White, Partnerships Manager at Skills Development Scotland, said: “Foundation Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to learn skills, get hands-on experience and develop their career. These students are the first in Scotland to complete the Accountancy qualification. It’s great to see them succeed.”
Forth Valley College’s range of Foundation Apprenticeships offer pupils from local schools the opportunity to help them progress towards a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) while still at school, gaining the skills and experience that employers need.
These innovative programmes, being offered in partnership with Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire schools, link senior school pupils with local employers and aims to help them to build their future careers. Upon completion of a Foundation Apprenticeship pupils can progress onto a Modern Apprenticeship, college study or a university degree.
As well as the Construction and Hospitality pilot Foundation Apprenticeships, Foundation Apprenticeships at SCQF Level 6 are available in Social Services and Healthcare; Social Services Children and Young People; Business Skills; IT Hardware System Support ; Engineering; Accountancy; Civil Engineering; Creative and Digital Media; IT Software Development; and Scientific Technologies (Laboratory Skills).