This article by Katie Macleod was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at on 03/10/2019 

This autumn sees the start of another chapter in the story of Dileab, the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar initiative which began in 2018 as an intergenerational, bilingual project to bring local history alive for the young people of the Outer Hebrides.

Now, it’s grown into a long-term project that also encompasses the cultural and historical work done in schools, with a showcase event headlined by Scottish folk band, Skipinnish, being held next month.

The latest release of exam data in September 2019 by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) shows continued educational success in a range of national qualification for pupils across all four secondary schools in the Western Isles.

SQA data is released twice annually: in February with school leaver figures, and again in September following the summer exam results.

Schools continually make use of this data to plan for improvement and ensure that learners leave school with a broad range of skills and qualifications that meet their future needs.

This article by Katie Macleod was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at on 05/09/2019 

With school back in session for another year, the two Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament for the Western Isles are getting stuck into their new roles as they prepare to join their fellow youth representatives at a sitting of the Youth Parliament in Fife next month.

Maria McGoldrick, from Uist, and Sakshi Ortchison, from Lewis, were voted in as the islands’ Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) in March, and have been busy meeting their peers, attending local community and council meetings, and planning for youth events.

This article by Katie Macleod was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at on 08/08/2019 

 Distilling gin. Designing brand graphics. Learning the ins and outs of managing a business. Getting to grips with engineering. All these skills – and more – are being mastered by young people in the Western Isles who are both studying and learning on the job thanks to apprenticeships at all levels.

And apprenticeship opportunities in the islands are expanding again, with the launch of six new Foundation Apprenticeships in the Senior Phase, for pupils in S4-S6.

“We’ve done a lot of work with the four presenting centres through the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Foundation Apprenticeship Programme,” explains Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Apprenticeship Manager, Dolina Smith.

This article by Katie Macleod was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at on 10/01/2019 

The year 2018 was designated Scotland’s ‘Year of Young People,’ a way of combining themed events across the country as the year went on, all aiming to inspire the country through young people’s ideas, attitudes, and ambitions.

It started with a bang in the New Year, launching at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, and ended on a high too, with young people from the Western Isles attending a host of high-profile Year of Young People (YOYP) events on the mainland in November and December.

First up was the Spirit of Young People event, a special partnership between Loganair and YOYP that saw a chartered plane flying 30 young people from three island authorities – the Western Isles, Orkney, and Shetland – to Edinburgh for a parliamentary reception at Holyrood on 29thNovember.