Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly.
By Aileen MacLennan
Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh has received glowing feedback from Investors in Young People (IIYP), 18 months after becoming the first school in Scotland to gain the national accreditation.
In a follow-up report from IIYP, the school is referred to as an ambassador for its young employees, and is praised for its commitment to attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining young staff, students, and probationary teachers.
Some of the positives highlighted in the report are:
- The school’s commitment to developing the careers of its young staff and managing talent through extensive staff participation groups, acting up roles, leads for the leadership academy, project leads and extra curriculum activities.
- Young staff develop confidence and competence as a result of positive and constructive feedback.
- Hermitage has strong engagement with stakeholders which has resulted in measurable improvements in education, learning and employment opportunities for young people.
- Young staff are empowered to contribute to decision making in their department and their views affect decisions making at all levels of the school.
- A planned staff leadership academy through the council allows young staff to be included in talent management and succession planning activities and fill critical and senior roles within the school. A number of young staff already hold promoted or acting senior roles.
- Young staff drive specific community engagement initiatives and evidence the impact of their influence on the community and wider society.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “When Hermitage Academy received IIYP accreditation in February 2019 it was the first school in Scotland to do so. Eighteen months later and Hermitage is still the only school in the country to have this prestigious accolade to its name. This in itself is a remarkable feat, but to then receive such a fabulous follow-up report is just amazing.
“Hermitage is recognised as an employer of choice and the IIYP acknowledges the large number of practices that the school has put into place that result in positive outcomes for its young people.
“It’s clear that Hermitage is leading the way when it comes to providing opportunities for young people, particularly those in its workforce, and I look forward to seeing what they achieve next. I have a strong feeling that they might be going for gold next. Watch this space!”
Roseanne MacKay, Depute Head Teacher at Hermitage, said: “As a school, we recognise that we can deliver for our young people and their families by investing in our staff. We are proud to hold this accreditation that recognises this commitment and our continued engagement with the Developing Young Workforce agenda. We would like to thank all staff who were involved in this process.”