A PROJECT at Cumnock Academy which ex-head teacher Angus McVake listed as one of his best achievements has won a national award.

The Me2u scheme, a collaboration with the academy, Ayrshire Collage and East Ayrshire Council won an SQA Highly Commended award in the Innovation category.

Long-term unemployed people with an opportunity to gain SQA qualifications, while carrying out voluntary work placement over a nine-week period within a school setting.

There have been five Me2u projects delivered at Ayrshire College so far, with an excellent success rate of people into full-time work.

Mr McVake said: “Cumnock Academy has always been a strong school for sporting achievements but there have been lots of others, like the Me2u project.

“People come in and get a work placement on the staff and it has given 75 per cent of participants a leg up into sustained employment.”

The accolade was presented at the 2017 SQA Star Awards in Edinburgh, which also kept going a remarkable run of wins for the college.

College Candidate of the Year was won by Sport and Fitness student James O’Neill who followed three of his predecessors at the podium.

Ayrshire College has now provided the past four winners of the coveted award, and all four have been Sport & Fitness students.

Angela Alexander, a former Ayrshire College Student Association President, won in 2014 and was followed in the next two years by students Stephen Wilson, a footballer for Auchinleck Talbot, and Natasha Kerr, an East Ayrshire coach from Mauchline