Three-sy peasy at education awards

A NURSERY, a head teacher and a member of staff from the council’s community learning and development service have scored a hat-trick for Inverclyde at this year’s Scottish Education Awards.

The finalists for the 2023 prize-giving have been announced and Inverclyde Council will be represented across three categories.

Hillend Children’s Centre has been shortlisted for the Making a Difference Award (ELC) while Aileymill Primary head teacher Catriona Miller is a finalist in the Lifetime Achievement category.

Scottish Education Awards 2023 logo
Scottish Education Awards 2023 logo

Jaclyn Kinninmont, who works for the council’s community learning and development service, completes the hat-trick with a nod for the Community Learning and Development Award. 

The awards are organised by the Daily Record in partnership with Education Scotland.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s convener of education and communities, said: “It’s an extraordinary achievement from each of our nominees to receive this national recognition but also for Inverclyde as a whole to have three representatives at these prestigious awards.

“The nominations cover early years, primary, secondary and community outreach education highlighting the breadth of work our staff carry out and carry out so successfully to support our children, young people and their families. 

“We have a fine track record of success at the Scottish Education Awards and I’m sure everyone will join me in congratulating Hillend, Catriona and Jaclyn and wishing them the very best of luck come the final.”

Hillend Children's Centre head of centre Lesley O'Hagan
Hillend Children's Centre head of centre Lesley O'Hagan

Hillend has been recognised for working collaboratively with children, families and partners to deliver a child-centred experience where everyone supports young people to reach their potential.

The centre provides an integrated additional support needs service with half of its pupils having additional support needs. 

Their philosophy is that ‘everyone is different, but we all belong’ and is demonstrated by the highly skilled team who build the service delivery in response to each individual child – an approach which has been shared among colleagues throughout the council as an example of best practice.

Lesley O’Hagan, head of centre at Hillend, said: “I am delighted that the hard work, dedication and ongoing training and development of Hillend staff have been recognised by Inverclyde Council’s leadership team, and was overwhelmed with the kind words and recognition of our practice from parents, and professionals past and present when collating the evidence for this award.”

Catriona Miller
Aileymill Primary head teacher Catriona Miller

Lifetime achievement nominee, Mrs Miller, is set to leave education to become a humanist celebrant at the end of the current school term after 30 years’ service in Inverclyde schools, initially in Ravenscraig Primary and since 2010 in Aileymill as class teacher, depute head and for the past eight years as head.

During her three decades in the south-west of Greenock, she has worked to ensure the best outcomes for the children and families of Larkfield, Branchton and Braeside.

Mrs Miller said: “I can hardly believe that 30 years have passed.

“It has been a privilege to work with some incredible people over that time both in Aileymill and Ravenscraig and to develop lifelong relationships with families in the area.”

Jaclyn Kinninmont from Inverclyde Council's community learning and development service.
Jaclyn Kinninmont from Inverclyde Council's community learning and development service.

Community learning and development worker Jaclyn has been shortlisted in recognition of her work in schools and in the wider community with young people for whom English is not their first language.

Jaclyn said: “I’m completely overwhelmed and grateful to be shortlisted for this award.

“Young people in Inverclyde are the real stars. I’m incredibly proud to have supported such resilient, passionate and confident young people who inspire me every day.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Glasgow on Wednesday 7 June 2023.

The shortlist is available at