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Winners announced for Success Looks Different awards


Scotland’s national Inclusion Ambassadors have crowned three schools across Scotland winners of the first ever Success Looks Different Awards in recognition of how they celebrate their pupils with additional support needs.

The awards, developed by the Inclusion Ambassadors and managed by Children in Scotland, allow schools to share how they support the achievements of their pupils with additional support needs outwith traditional academia.

Specifically, the Inclusion Ambassadors were looking for evidence of celebrating pupils with additional support needs and their individual achievements, sharing success with the wider community as well as doing something creative, innovative and different.

More than 40 schools, representing primary, secondary and specialist provision submitted applications.

Each of the winners, chosen by the Inclusion Ambassadors, demonstrated a particular commitment to celebrating individual pupil journeys, evidence of positive relationships between pupils, staff and peers and a focus on children’s rights.


  • PRIMARY AND EARLY YEARS WINNER: Braehead Primary School, Stirling
  • SECONDARY SCHOOL WINNER: Alva Academy, Clackmannanshire
  • SPECIAL SCHOOL WINNER: Cedarbank School, Livingston

Lucy Johnson, Enquire’s Senior Children’s Rights and Communications Officer, who managed the award, said:

“We received a large number of entries from a range of provision and geographic locations. Across all, a common thread was a commitment to, and creativity in, including and celebrating pupils as individuals.

“Congratulations to all the 2022 winners. We hope this year’s awards will be the first of many.”

Monica Nelson, a Support for Learning teacher who entered the awards on behalf of primary and early years winner Braehead Primary School, said:

“'As a school, we are very proud of all our students and their achievements. We feel it is vital to recognise that success is not just measured by academic performance. We have incredible, dynamic individuals who face lots of different challenges.

“Our team work hard to provide opportunities for all students to showcase their skills and talents and are honoured to be recognised for this with the Success Looks Different Award.”

Scott McEwan, Headteacher at Alva Academy, who took home the top accolade for the secondary school category, said:

“We are delighted to have been recognised for the outstanding work of our fabulous young people and exceptional colleagues. The award reflects our unflinching commitment to make sure every young person can thrive, achieve and fulfil their potential.”

Carol McDonald, Headteacher of Cedarbank School, which was named winner of the special schools category, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have won. This recognition of our work by Children in Scotland is a real accolade for the Cedarbank community.

“Our young people demonstrate an array of different talents, attributes, skills and abilities every day. Success looks different for each individual and we love celebrating and sharing the success and achievements of all our pupils.“

The Success Looks Different Awards was developed by Children in Scotland and the Inclusion Ambassadors to support the Scottish Government’s commitment to recognise and appreciate success for pupils with additional support needs, and the forms this takes, as outlined in their Additional Support for Learning Action Plan.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills said:

“I’d like to congratulate the winners and all those who participated in the inaugural Success Looks Different awards. This award recognises the wide-ranging achievements of learners and offers an important platform for schools to share the innovative ways they are supporting children and young people with additional support needs.

“I’d like to thank the Inclusion Ambassadors and all participating schools for their commitment to supporting and celebrating the success of their pupils.”

Each of the winners and runners-up will receive a physical award, to be presented during the current school term.

There is also plans to share the many examples of good practice received from schools, with the intention of helping schools across Scotland reflect, and build upon, the inclusive way in which they involve and celebrate pupils with additional support needs.


Contact (Tues, Wed, Fri): Jennifer Drummond, Communications Officer, Children in Scotland - 

Contact (Mon, Thurs): Chris Small, Communications Manager, Children in Scotland -

Notes for Editors

  • Primary and Early Years winner: Braehead Primary School, Stirling. Runner-up: Whitecrook Primary, West Dunbartonshire
  • Secondary School winner: Alva Academy, Clackmannanshire. Runner-up: Hillpark Secondary School, Glasgow
  • Special school winner: Cedarbank School, Livingston. Runner-up: Harmeny Education Trust, Edinburgh
  • The Inclusion Ambassadors is a national group, established to give young people with additional support needs a voice in decisions about education policy. The current Inclusion Ambassadors group is made up of secondary school-age young people with a wide range of additional support needs, representing 16 different local authority areas across Scotland. The group is managed by Children in Scotland.


Success Looks Different

More about the winners of the inaugural awards

Click here to find out more

Inclusion Ambassadors

Ensuring the views of young people with additional support needs are heard in education

Click here to find out more

Resource bank

A one-page information sheet highlighting the current resources available from the Inclusion Ambassadors

Click here to download