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Westminster Parliamentary Reception celebrates Youth Awards in Scotland


ASDAN was one of 23 non-formal Award providers, represented at a special Westminster Parliamentary reception for the Awards Network on Wednesday 20 January, 2016. 

The evening provided an opportunity to highlight the achievements of tens of thousands of young Scots who have had their non-formal learning recognised or accredited through one or more of the 23 members of the Awards Network. 

The event, sponsored by Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West, and Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Public Services and Education), was attended by MPs from across Scotland, representatives from the Awards Network, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and other leading figures from the youth work sector.

In a very challenging climate for youth employment, the reception was a reminder of the opportunities that employers can and have gained, through young applicants being better able to communicate the skills that they have to offer. 

ASDAN methodology has significant affinity with non-formal approaches to learning and we are proud to be part of the Awards Network. We recognise the importance of engagement on the part of the learner and understands that young people need opportunities to exercise agency and choice within a supportive structure to help them become lifelong learners.

Ian McLaughlan, Chief Executive, Youth Scotland, said:
“Youth Scotland has believed in the value of non-formal learning over its 80+ years history and has worked very hard over the past 8 years to develop the Awards Network in Scotland. This work has helped to realise the potential of the collaborative approach of the twenty three member organisations of the Awards Network and the benefits that this has brought to recognising young people’s achievements and attainment.”

Education Scotland Aspect Review

The reception also highlighted the publication of the Education Scotland Aspect Review, ‘A review of youth awards in Scotland’ which identifies that, “Participation in youth awards is encouraging some young people to remain engaged in learning for longer and, for some who are disengaged from education, participation in an award is a first step towards personal achievement and an increase in their self-belief and sense of ambition”.

Phil Denning, Assistant Director, Education Scotland said:
“This review is part of a new series of Aspect Reviews that look at the contribution made by Community Learning and Development partners to Curriculum for Excellence, Scotland’s guidance on Education. The review considered how well youth awards in Scotland collectively contribute to; improved life chances for young people; stronger, more resilient, supportive, influential and inclusive communities; and, the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence. We are encouraged by the progress made, and by the opportunities that still lay ahead. The establishment of the Awards Network was a timely and creative response to some of the challenges of developing the best education system for Scotland’s young people.”

Carol Monaghan, MP, who hosted the event said:
“The findings of the Education Scotland Aspect Review of youth awards in Scotland are very welcome. They demonstrate the real value that non-formal learning, and the awards that recognise those achievements, can bring to our young people as they prepare for learning, life and for work. They offer young people a real and lasting opportunity to highlight, record and share their positive contributions and achievements as they make their way in the world. Giving young people the chance to build and promote their skills is an important part of planning for their future. The awards offer great opportunities to take part in a wide range of activities and the Aspect Review tells us that the number of young people participating in, completing, progressing and gaining accreditation through youth awards is increasing. This is really excellent news for delivery of the Scotland’s holistic approach to education through the Curriculum for Excellence.”