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Following D&A College’s success at last year’s Scottish Public Service Awards, Principal Grant Ritchie encourages the sector to nominate its outstanding achievers.

Banner image for College nominations encouraged for the Scottish Public Service Awards

Photo Credit: Andrew Cowan, Scottish Parliament
Photo credit: Andrew Cowan, Scottish Parliament

Winning the Campbell Christie Scottish Public Service Award came at just the right time for our college. It marked the end of a tough transitioning period as we worked to remodel ourselves ready for the 2020’s and beyond.

I’m not going to pretend that this degree of self-evaluation has been easy; we were already performing well above average in our sector and the thought of turning our curriculum and our processes upside down was tough to get your head around.

But our staff, needless to say, were amazing. Not that long ago I was walking out on the stage at our Gardyne Campus ready to address them as they geared up for a new academic year.

Of course you always see a mixture of emotions, (not all of them joyful!) at what lies ahead, but for the most part I sensed a real feeling of accomplishment and dare I say it, optimism for the year to come.

It’s been a tough old period for Scottish colleges. We’re suffering from the same anxieties that are afflicting our society in general; Brexit, political turbulence, recession fears, but bundled up with those worries is the feeling that we’re perhaps not being fully appreciated for the vital role we play in Further Education.

So winning a Scottish Public Service Award has had a part to play in our college’s renewed confidence. We know the college sector is doing a wonderful job, but we need to make sure that our voice is heard much further afield.

Entering prestigious and cross-sector awards such as these can only be a powerful step in the right direction. Nominations for the Scottish Public Service Awards are open until 4 October, and I strongly encourage my colleagues in the sector to consider who among their staff should be recognised for their outstanding achievements this year.