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Edinburgh Stars light up SQA Awards ceremony

Posted: 19th November 2019

A former Edinburgh College student has been named as one of big winners at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Star Awards.

Dean Clark, a former HND Retail Management student, was presented with SQA’s Pride o’ Worth award by John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister, and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.

Dean was recognised for his work setting up the college’s first student-led shop, offering other the students the opportunity to run their own small business, as well as giving local residents the chance to develop their employability skills. Dean was also presented with the award for College Candidate of the Year.

One of Dean’s former lecturers, Amanda Muir, said that Dean represented the spirit of further education. She said: “Dean came to the college, and embraced this project, and really wanted to make a success of it.” Another of Dean’s former lecturers, David Cochrane, added: “Dean felt that the shop should work for students across the whole college, and it was his persistence, enthusiasm, and charm that gave the project momentum, and got things done.”

Earlier in the evening former St George’s School for Girls pupil Anushka Irodi was highly commended in the Academic Excellence category, while and Punjabi Junction – a training and social enterprise café partnership – was highly commended in two categories for its work with women from Edinburgh’s minority ethnic communities.

Dean, Anushka, and representatives from and Punjabi Junction were in Glasgow over the weekend to receive their award at a glittering ceremony at the city’s renowned Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

The SQA Star Awards recognise the successes of individuals working towards SQA qualifications as well as the centres – the schools, colleges, training providers, and employers – that deliver SQA qualifications and enable learners to achieve their ambitions.

SQA Chief Executive, Fiona Robertson, said: “The SQA Star Awards are a fantastic celebration of the commitment, and talent of young people from across Scotland, and the dedication of the teams at SQA centres that deliver our courses and qualifications here in Scotland, across the rest of the UK, and around the world. I have been inspired by the stories that I have heard tonight, especially the entrepreneurial spirit shown by our two Pride o’ Worth winners. It has been a pleasure to meet with all of our finalists this evening, and I congratulate every single person here on their outstanding achievements.”

Education Secretary John Swinney said: “All those receiving awards and commendation have shown an outstanding drive and devotion to learning in their chosen field. My congratulations to the winners and finalists for their achievements.

“The variety of routes taken by the learners across the categories demonstrates the immense diversity of their ambitions, and I am grateful to the SQA for its work in creating and expanding the options available.”

The SQA Star Awards were hosted by TV personality and entrepreneur Carole Smillie and are supported by a number of sponsors, including the General Teaching Council for Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership.


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