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Inverness College UHI and partners top of the class for virtual schooling

By Louise Glen

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Heckie Cormack contacts distant students.
Heckie Cormack contacts distant students.

INVERNESS College UHI and its partners – North Highland College UHI and West Highland College UHI – are celebrating after winning the digital learning gong at the College Development Network (CDN) Awards in recognition of its Virtual School offering.

The CDN Awards recognise the talent, innovation and achievement demonstrated by Scotland’s colleges, their staff and their learners.

The award from CDN is the third accolade for the Virtual School, which won the outstanding use of technology in delivering remote teaching and learning category at the Tes FE Awards last May.

More recently, the offer was shortlisted as a finalist for best use of technology in education at the Herald Digital Transformation Awards.

The Virtual School offer recognises the colleges’ innovative use of digital technology to deliver courses to S4, S5 and S6 pupils in remote and rural areas across the Highland Council region.

Working with the local authority, the three colleges developed the Virtual School, which builds upon the council’s Highland Virtual Academy initiative, allowing pupils to attend classes remotely using online learning technologies, providing an accessible curriculum to those pupils living in remote and rural regions.

The Virtual School complements the colleges’ successful senior phase programme, which enables senior secondary school pupils to choose a college course to study one day, or across the week, as part of their options choices in S4, S5 and S6.

Lindsay Snodgrass, assistant principal in student experience and quality at Inverness College UHI, said: “Once again, I’d like to commend staff involved in shaping the Virtual School offer, which has now been recognised at both UK and Scotland level.

“Using our expertise in remote learning, the Virtual School offer responds to the needs of our communities and the rurality of the Highland Council region by ensuring S4, S5 and S6 pupils have access to a range of courses regardless of where they live, providing them with more options to study the subjects they want for their chosen career.”

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