Deputy Head Teacher Marks Retirement as An Award Finalist - Kibble: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity
Posted: May 27, 2022

Deputy Head Teacher, Mark Robertson has built his career at Kibble, helping to mould the Senior Phase educational provision. His impact on Kibble has been huge. As Mark retires and all at Kibble gather to wish him well, his legacy continues with a nomination for the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Scottish Education Awards 2022.

Mark has played a vital role in inspiring learners, their families, fellow colleagues and the wider community and beyond for over 29 years. He dedicated himself to being an exceptional role model to young people. He has contributed to care experienced pupils achieving qualifications, and gaining life experiences, including travelling abroad and ultimately helping to shape their successful futures. The prestigious Scottish Education Awards announcing Mark as a finalist is a tremendous way to celebrate his contribution to education.

Kibble held a presentation for Mark’s retirement. Everyone was welcome to honour Mark’s time at Kibble and the difference he has made as an educator. All wished Mark the very best for the future, although are fully aware he will remain close by and on-hand to offer support to previous pupils and past colleagues. Together, we reflected on his Kibble career and agreed he was deserving of a nomination for Scottish Education’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Photos of Everyone Wishing Mark All The Best for The Future

Reflect on the Impact Mark Had on Pupils, Families and Colleagues

Beginning his career as a Child and Youth Care Worker, Mark transitioned into education and progressed into the role of Principal Teacher, followed by Deputy Head Teacher. Mark completed a Master’s degree in Business with a focus on developing a Business Model for vocational training and tertiary education services within Kibble. Mark has grasped opportunities to gain extensive qualifications and undertake further education and training to ensure his teaching methods develop and evolve in line with the ever-changing needs of young people.

As well as focusing on career development for himself, he has in tandem implemented ways to help pupils achieve qualifications, gain work experience and form aspirations to secure a job which they enjoy. Mark helps ensure young people have access to gain qualifications in line with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), offering a variety of subject choices, as well as a high level of support with literacy and numeracy. Mark has incorporated employability skills into course delivery and assessment to ensure pupils are equipped with knowledge and skills reflective of the current job market.

An example of the difference Mark has made to the lives of his pupils can be demonstrated through a previous pupil who Mark was a guidance teacher and mentor to. The young person is now a full-time employee at Kibble within the catering department, having gained all the relevant qualifications with Mark’s support and motivation.

“Mark is funny, caring and a hard worker. He has helped me by providing a work experience placement that I know will benefit me in the future”.

Young person

Mark goes above and beyond to enrich the experiences of young people. The study trips he organised and fundraised for are excellent examples of why he deserves the Lifetime Achievement Award. At Kibble, pupils are often care-experienced and have previously faced trauma and adversity. They have unlikely travelled out with their local area and have low expectations of taking a plane trip. However, due to Mark’s commitment, several educational excursions were made possible.

As part of the educational tours, two pupils travelled to Ecuador, spending time with local people and improving their poor housing conditions through the “Determined to Succeed” initiative. Through ‘Classroom for Malawi’, five pupils and six staff members built two classrooms and funded a teacher. The trip cost over £30K and involved fundraising activities across two years. A trip to Baltimore in America to make a stand for Civil Rights involved six pupils and four teachers. Each journey, from the process of fundraising to arriving and making a difference was a huge achievement.

The travel experiences gave care experienced pupils an understanding of the wider world, gaining awareness of culture and differences; a perspective they would not have learned without Mark’s involvement and tenacity. The fundraising aspect taught students entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, as well as helping towards other qualifications. Fundraising gave an insight into the meaning of community, increasing awareness of philanthropic issues and instilling moral values. Pupils worked together and recognised their power and responsibility in making a difference. Through the entire experience, pupils gained life skills that equipped them with the motivation to be a positive force in the wider community and beyond.

Mark leads on organisational funding projects to ensure the school has the resources available to fully support pupils moving forward to positive futures. Through initiating employability and tenancy projects, young people have received extra tuition and additional support to gain national qualifications, including the Tenancy Award – a qualification that prepares care-experienced young people to sustain independent living.

Mark has an open-door policy and offers full support to his fellow teachers. Mark has led by example by completing his Master’s qualification and has influenced colleagues to undertake continued professional development opportunities. The approachable nature he possesses is appreciated by staff.

“Mark has always offered support and been there with advice, sharing his experience of undertaking further study allowing us to relate to him. If there is help needed anywhere then Mark is first to be there”.

Principal Teacher, Tracey Jardine

Overall, Mark’s fundamental principle in teaching is to build meaningful relationships and connections. Throughout his career, Mark has sometimes been the sole, consistent adult in young peoples’ lives. He has nurtured the academic and vocational abilities of pupils while providing them with opportunities to experience the wider world and gain valuable life skills.

Mark has been instrumental in bringing to life Kibble’s overall goal to empower young people to believe in themselves, feel a sense of belonging, fulfil their potential, achieve and work towards a positive future.  Mark genuinely represents Kibble’s inspiring learning and development culture, encouraging both pupils and staff to be ambitious. By leading by example, fellow teachers have looked up to Mark and together, have strived to provide the best educational experience possible for pupils.

Back to news