Additional support needs teacher at St Ninian’s High, Kirkintilloch named Scotland’s Teacher of the Year

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St Ninian High’s John McKean, a language and communication Principal Teacher at the Kirkintilloch school, has been named Teacher of the Year at the Scottish Education Awards.

John works with pupils with additional support needs such as autism to help them access the mainstream school environment, supporting them to fulfil their potential.

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney has tweeted: “Warmest congratulations to John McKean @stninianshs on becoming Teacher of the Year #ScotEdAwards. One of his pupils says ‘Mr McKean focuses on each of us as individuals’.”

He was named winner at the Awards, held yesterday (Wednesday, June 5).

St. Ninian’s, whose 2018 inspection saw the best results of any school under Education Scotland’s current system, has also been shortlisted for two other prestigious national awards – and the school will hear at the end of this month if they have won.

Headteacher Paul McLaughlin is up for the TES Headteacher of the Year Award while Derryk Gray is shortlisted in the School Business Manager of the Year category for his work to ensure that all school resources are widely used to support the curriculum. Both are the only Scottish nominees in their categories.

Paul has been Headteacher at the Kirkintilloch school since 2004, and in 2009 was named Headteacher of the Year in the Scottish Education Awards due to his inspirational leadership and collaborative approach.

He has continued to lead the school to great things in the intervening years. It has been recognised for its work to raise attainment in numeracy (Scottish Education Awards, 2017) and for its commitment to teachers’ professional learning (General Teaching Council Awards, 2017). It is consistently shortlisted for awards and is riding high after its excellent inspection.

Councillor Jim Goodall, Convener of the Education Committee said, “Once again, St. Ninian’s High School has been acknowledged for the excellent work being done by the Headteacher and all his staff. To be shortlisted from hundreds of entries for these national awards is a great achievement and Paul, Derryk and John should be very proud.

“Their outstanding 2018 inspection ranks them among the top three schools in Scotland and it is not hard to see why. There is always a very positive atmosphere in the school and the energy and enthusiasm of the young people and staff is infectious. It is impossible not to be struck by everyone’s ‘can do’ attitude.

“I wish Paul and his colleagues the best of luck for these awards as I know they are keen to add to their achievements and continue on their journey of excellence.”

Paul McLaughlin added, “Once again I am delighted that our school community has been recognised at these prestigious national awards ceremonies. The commitment from our community, staff and young people in doing their very best for each other ensures that St. Ninian’s High School is an inclusive and thriving learning environment.

“In particular I am delighted that Mr McKean and Mr Gray have been nominated for their outstanding contribution to the school and both have played a pivotal role in ensuring that our community goes from strength to strength.”

The Scottish Education Awards were held on Wednesday 5 June 2019 while winners of the TES awards will be announced on Friday 21 June 2019.