Midlothian boost for adult education

Depute Principal Marian Docherty, Phil Denning (Education Scotland), Aileen Campbell and Principal Ann Southwood
Depute Principal Marian Docherty, Phil Denning (Education Scotland), Aileen Campbell and Principal Ann Southwood

The success of new educational awards for adults Adult has been hailed at a conference at Newbattle Abbey College, Dalkeith.

The awards represent the first time a recognised qualification has been available to adults on the basis of their learning in informal locations.

The Adult Achievement Awards were piloted in 10 centres across Scotland between September last year and February. During the pilot 130 people received recognised qualifications through the participating centres.

Addressing the conference was the Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, who said: “Education can change lives and ensuring people of all ages have access to learning is vitally important – especially for those who are furthest away from formal education and employment.

“The Adult Achievement Awards reach out to many of these people and recognise the work they have put in to improving their skills and improving their chances of finding work or contributing to their community.”

The awards were developed by the college in partnership with Education Scotland and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership (SCQF).

They are available at SCQF levels 3, 4 and 6 and accredit adults for the learning they have undertaken in a range of places – the community, colleges, voluntary organisations, employment and volunteering.

Adults produce portfolios which demonstrate their learning and achievement. These are assessed by Newbattle Abbey College, which owns the awards.

Marian Docherty, Depute Principal at Newbattle Abbey College, added: “The new awards are flexible and inclusive and allow adults to gain a national qualification which recognises their learning and achievement.

“They also offer progression to further study and enhance employment prospects. We are pleased that the pilot programme involved such a wide variety of sectors and agencies across Scotland.

“The pilot projects engaged positively with some of the most vulnerable groups in society. Gaining a nationally recognised SCQF qualification will enable adults to progress to further learning options and gain confidence.”