West Lothian College staff have been nominated for two Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) awards for their work throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

HNC Coaching and Developing Sport lecturer Graeme Mair has been shortlisted for an individual award, while the Children’s Hearings Scotland Learning Academy (CHSLA) team have been shortlisted for the team award.

The awards recognise educators who have worked hard to ensure their students thrive at college while dealing with the ‘New Normal’ brought about by the COVID-19 lockdown. It celebrates the very best responses to the educational challenges facing colleges and universities at this time.

Graeme worked tirelessly to ensure his students achieved success after realising that his course is not one that can be entirely completed online and so students wouldn’t be able to continue with it in lockdown. He recognised that students had participated in a wide range of additional activities throughout their course and began working on a plan to use these extra activities as evidence of achievement which would allow students to successfully complete their course.

On being shortlisted, Graeme said: “It’s great to be considered for the award. As a college we are all just delighted that the students who were so affected by the COVID College campus shut down were able to continue with their studies and progress on to further study or employment with their required grades and completed portfolio. I know that all staff at the college have adapted to ensure students and applicants were not disadvantaged by the pandemic, so I am delighted to be shortlisted for this award.”

The CHSLA team collaborated closely with the virtual learning team in college to produce high quality tools and techniques to allow them to support learners and resume online teaching within a few weeks of lockdown taking effect. This was a tremendous achievement given some staff members were home-schooling and protecting those shielding, all under difficult circumstances.

Thomas Birrell, CHSLA Manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for this award. Especially as it recognises the tremendous work that the whole CHS Learning Academy team did during lockdown to support our learners to complete their studies.”

The awards will be announced in an online ceremony on the 23rd September.