A Holytown teacher has won the prestigious George D Gray award for the best undergraduate thesis in teacher education in Scotland.
Stacey McKillop who lives in Motherwell and is a teacher at Holytown Primary School was recognised by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) for her dissertation ‘How can primary school teachers effectively address the needs of looked after children?’
She was presented with the 14th annual award at a ceremony at the GTCS offices in Edinburgh.
Stacey graduated from the University of the West of Scotland in July, having successfully completed a BEd programme.
She said: “I am delighted to receive such a prestigious award for my research project.
“It outlined the challenges these children face throughout their education and offered ways in which practitioners can support these children in their learning.
“My study also explored teachers’ views on supporting looked after children, examining how confident Scottish primary school teachers are in identifying and supporting their needs.
“As a result of this project, I’m keen to raise awareness of barriers these children face throughout their education.
“This knowledge has already proven to be invaluable in supporting the children in my own class and I hope that some of the information and practical suggestions in my thesis may help other teachers as well. I feel that this topic is important for all teachers, both primary and secondary.”
Dr Paula Cowan of the UWS School of Education, and Stacey’s dissertation module co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted that Stacey has won this prestigious award for her excellent dissertation.
“This is a significant achievement and Stacey should be extremely proud as she becomes the first UWS graduate to win this award.”