PeterDeen receives further Scottish acclaim

A unique award-winning partnership project offering different educational opportunities to young people continues to receive special national recognition.

PeterDeen was selected as a finalist in the Community, Learning and Development Awards category in the Scottish Education Awards 2020.

Unfortunately, due to the restrictions imposed as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic the awards ceremony was cancelled.

Led by Aberdeenshire Council, the PeterDeen scholarship has been developed in partnership with Aberdeen FC Community Trust, Peterhead-based Score Group plc and Peterhead Academy.

The project delivers a curriculum through which students are encouraged to celebrate their own achievements and develop as independent, responsible and creative young people with a lifelong interest in learning and self-development. Participating pupils have undertaken a series of practical, accredited courses that cross the field of school, sport and business.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “The fact that PeterDeen has been selected as a finalist in the Scottish Education Awards just demonstrates the high national regard in which the scholarship is held. It is a brilliant example of partnership work at its best and has done so much to help young people achieve goals beyond their wildest dreams.”

The initiative, which was launched in August 2018, was extended to Fraserburgh in September 2019, as FraserDeen was established. The young people taking part in FraserDeen enjoyed the benefit of NESCol (North East Scotland College) facilities, the use of the James Ramsay Pavillion in the town, tailored inputs from Aberdeenshire Council’s Work With Young People Team, a number of core classes at Fraserburgh Academy and of course the expert coaching and training delivered by Aberdeen FC Community Trust.

PeterDeen won the SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League) Trust’s Community Project of the Year in May 2019. Two young people from Peterhead Academy, who have been participating in the programme, made the journey to Hampden to present on the project and collect the award in front of representatives from 42 SPFL clubs, the Scottish Government, the SPFL and the Scottish FA.

Attendance rates from participating pupils has gone from below 40% to beyond 90%. The alternative curriculum specially devised for them includes coaching sessions and the opportunity to focus on skills for life as well as continuing to work on core subjects such as English and Maths.

Steven Sweeney, chief operating office of AFCCT, commented: “This award and recognition are warmly welcomed by the partners but it’s really all about the young people who have excelled.

“PeterDeen is a true partnership and the Trust is grateful to all those involved.

“Collectively we are ready to embrace the challenges ahead with the return to school after lockdown and to delivering a blended education offering with both face to face delivery and digital learning. This project will be even bigger and better in 20/21.”

The project delivers a curriculum through which students are encouraged to celebrate their own achievements and develop as independent, responsible and creative young people with a lifelong interest in learning and self-development. It is available for S4 and S3 pupils who want to develop their skills for learning, life and work in a way they might not otherwise achieve.

Aberdeen FC Community Trust announced recently 20 schools including Buchanhaven Primary are signing for the Dons as part of their partner schools programme.