Haul of SQA awards for Castlebay School

Castlebay Community School on Barra was recognised at this year’s Scottish Qualifications Authority awards, winning a total of four categories.

The school won the Pride o’ Worth award for centres — the organisations which deliver SQA’s qualifications; partnership of the year; lifelong learning centre of the year; and sustainable educator of the decade.

In the partnership of the year category, the judges were impressed by the school’s links to local employers and community projects, 21 of whom offered Castlebay pupils work placement training. While in the lifelong learning centre category, Castlebay has delivered a variety of vocation courses — such as SQA skills for work courses in energy, engineering, hospitality and pre-nursing — that have proved so popular they have been embedded in the school’s curriculum.

The school was also named sustainable development educator of the decade, a unique award which recognised the school’s achievements in fostering the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills in young people who need to engage with a number of environmental challenges.


Grace MacArthur pictured with Aileen Ponton, chief executive of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

Sixth-year pupil Grace MacArthur scooped a top award on the night after being named lifelong learning candidate of the year.

Annag MacLean, head teacher at Castlebay Community School, said: “This is an unbelievable achievement for everyone at the school and for the community as a whole. Castlebay is at the heart of everything we do on Barra. The school is a hub for everyone on the island and we are delighted that our efforts have been recognised at a national level.”

Councillor Catriona Stewart, chair of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s education and children’s services committee, added: “I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to everyone connected with Castlebay Community School on their impressive haul of awards. I am delighted that the dedication and commitment at the school has been recognised in such a comprehensive manner.”

The SQA Star Awards were held at Glasgow Clyde College’s Anniesland campus earlier this month and were hosted by TV and radio presenter Kaye Adams.


Annag Maclean and Catriona Henderson, with SQA chief executive Dr Janet Brown and chairman Graham Houston