Edinburgh stars shine at SQA awards

Alex Laird has been chief invigilator at Portobello High School for 18 years. Picture: Peter Devlin
Alex Laird has been chief invigilator at Portobello High School for 18 years. Picture: Peter Devlin
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A former pupil from James Gillespie’s High School and a chief invigilator who has overseen hundreds of exams in a city school, have each been recognised at this year’s Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Star Awards.

Alex Laird was highly commended in the Appointee of the Year category, for the dedication she has shown throughout her 18 years as chief invigilator at Portobello High School.

Jamie Clarkson gained four Advanced Highers in his final year at school. Picture Peter Devlin

Jamie Clarkson gained four Advanced Highers in his final year at school. Picture Peter Devlin

Alex trains and manages a team of 28 invigilators to supervise the school’s busy SQA and prelim exam periods.

She is one of the thousands of appointees who works with SQA every year to ensure the annual examination diet is delivered securely.

Also highly commended was Jamie Clarkson, whose achievements while a pupil at James Gillespie’s High saw him recognised in the Academic Excellence award category.

Jamie gained four Advanced Highers in his final year at school – scoring consistently high marks in Advanced Higher mathematics, mathematics of mechanics, physics, and statistics.

The SQA Star awards are unique in recognising both the individuals who work towards and the organisations that deliver SQA qualifications; rewarding those that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to learning.

SQA chief executive Dr Janet Brown said: “I have been overwhelmed by the dedication of our winners and have been privileged to hear moving stories of learning journeys. Our winners are an inspiration to us all. The SQA Star awards shine a light on the incredible support provided to learners by teachers, lecturers, schools, colleges, employers, and training providers, encouraging them to reach their potential, and it is right that we give our exceptional centres the recognition they truly deserve.”

Education Secretary John Swinney said: “These awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognise the hard work and achievement of people, and of our education and training providers.

“It is absolutely right that we should celebrate these achievements which demonstrate the best in Scottish education and training.

“I would like to congratulate all the winners and wish them every success for the future.”