College Named as Green Gown Award Finalists

West Lothian College has been named as finalists in the Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland 2019.

The college was shortlisted within the Benefitting Society Award category for the work done in encouraging males to consider careers in early learning and childcare in line with the Scottish Funding Council’s Men in Early Years project and their creation of a Forest Classroom on campus for students.

Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges. With sustainability remaining a very important subject worldwide, the awards have become established as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the further and higher education sector.

The Men in Early Years project aims to both help meet the need for new practitioners and address the gender imbalance in this sector by attracting males to apply for and successfully complete Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) registered qualifications in early learning and childcare and innovatively challenge the perceptions of over 400 S3 boys in West Lothian about what a career in Early Learning and Childcare can be like through a Forest Classroom experience. West Lothian College blended the creation of a forest classroom created entirely of recycled material, alongside the promotion of males studying and working in early learning and childcare, to enhance recruitment and promote the use of the area.

The forest classroom has been developed by the college in response to the Scottish Government’s agenda to incorporate outdoor learning into the curriculum for young people, recognising the many benefits it can have on learning and development and the opportunities it creates that are not always possible within a traditional classroom environment.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 26th November at Glasgow Science Centre.

Jackie Galbraith, Principal of West Lothian College said: “We are delighted to be named as finalists in Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland. We are very proud of the forest classroom and the unique environment is the perfect setting to showcase our male cohort of Childhood Practice students. We look forward to the winners being revealed on the 26th of November.”

Find out more about the Men in Early Years project by watching our promotional video