LORRAINE STOBIE was a nursery nurse when she first started working with special needs children in Ayrshire 35 years ago. She went on to become a classroom instructor, teacher and head teacher, recently guiding kids, parents and staff through the difficult process of merging two special needs schools into one. Now, as the head of Southcraig Campus, she’s been recognised for her decades of devotion with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Scottish Education Awards.
She was one of 17 winners announced yesterday at a glittering ceremony at the Hilton hotel in Glasgow.
The 56-year-old said: “It’s completely overwhelming as I didn’t expect to win – I was thrilled just to be nominated.
“The challenge for me and everyone who works in the school is to give the children and young people the very best experiences they can.
“The reward is seeing the achievements and the progress the children make and working with families who give 100 per cent to the school and their children.”
For a gallery of all the winners, click here
Jane Saunders, of St Bartholomew’s Primary in Castlemilk, Glasgow, was named Head Teacher of
the Year, having been nominated by pupils including Leah Wilson and Elliott Harvey, both nine.
Leah added: “All the school now knows we have the best head teacher in Scotland. She’s very good.”
Jane said: “This is an award for the school, staff, pupils and parents. It’s a great reflection on everyone connected with the school. It is an award we will treasure.”
Schools from across Scotland gathered for the ceremony and mixed with guests including 2011 Britain’s Got Talent winner Jai McDowall.
Jai said: “At school, I was never the hardest worker. I wasn’t a trier and was very lucky to have landed on my feet. To see so many people here who are making a difference and so many kids who are getting great opportunities to do so many things is really encouraging.”
Tom Campbell, of Kilmarnock Academy, received the Teacher of the Year award for his tireless work on a series of projects.
The 30-year-old said: “There’s so much more to being part of the school that a lot of people just don’t see.”
But it wasn’t just teachers who were picking up awards. Classroom assistant Alison Robertson was named Education Supporter of the Year for going above and beyond the call of duty at Furnace Primary near Inveraray.
The school’s head teacher James Helbert added: “Ali is involved in every aspect of the kids’ lives. She’s there in the morning when the breakfast club starts and helps children who need an extra wee bit of support to get ready for school.
“She also organises after-school care for children who need it and is involved in every aspect of the community. She’s a star.”
The awards ceremony was hosted by BBC Scotland newsreader and Sunday Mail columnist Jackie Bird, who was impressed with Alison’s dedication.
She said: “She shows that jobs in education don’t start at 9am and end at 4pm. The difference is they’re wondering how to make other people’s lives better – that’s what stands out.”
Many schools took home awards for excelling in various different areas of school life.
For a gallery of all the winners, click here
Scotstoun Primary in Glasgow won the Active Nation award for developing new activities, sports and games for the school’s pupils.
PE teacher Jim Boyd said: “About six years ago, three-quarters of teenagers were opting out of physical activity.
“We wanted to address that by introducing a comprehensive, inclusive and appropriate PE programme that would provide the children with all the skills necessary to access lifelong physical activity.”
The school received their award from former 10,000m running ace Liz McColgan.
Liz, who went on stage with her treasured Olympic silver medal in honour of the awards’ Games theme, said: “We’re always hearing how Scotland is so unfit, so it’s good to have extra-curricular activities back in schools.”
Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, was also on hand to pay tribute to award winners.
He said: “All of the winners are doing fantastic things in their schools and there were also three people shortlisted for each category and more than 600 nominations in total. That shows Scottish education is doing well.”
Allan Rennie, editor-in-chief of the Daily Record, said: “The dedication of the teachers, parents, pupils and staff shows that Scottish education is in good hands.”
Among the many winners who travelled a long distance to receive an award was Port Ellen Primary, from Islay.
They won the Learning Through Technology award for making connections with kids from across the country.