East Neuk artist gains top honour

SQA Awards
SQA Awards

Fife artist and designer Jennifer di Folco has been conferred with the highest honour of the Scottish Qualifications Authority during its annual Star Awards ceremony held in Glasgow.

Described as “a remarkable and inspirational woman who has made a huge contribution to education and training in her career,” she received the prestigious SQA Fellowship award.

The event was hosted by television and radio personality Kaye Adams and rewarded and recognised inspirational achievements and commitment from individuals, schools, colleges and training organisations across Scotland.

During the ceremony, SQA chief executive, Dr Janet Brown, said: ”Jennifer is an exceptional woman, a very passionate and enthusiastic woman, who has changed lives, created opportunities and enthused ambition and inspiration.”

Resident in Anstruther, she is a former teacher at several Fife schools, including Bell Baxter High School, Cupar, and was principal teacher of art and design at Kirkland High School and Community College, Methil, from 1990-2003.

She was the SQA’s qualifications manager for art and design based in both Dalkeith and Glasgow and not only led the subject’s development at a national level, but instigated showcasing pupils’ artwork in a number of high profile venues.

At the 2005 G8 summit at Gleneagles, she was asked to choose pieces of students’ Higher art to be given as gifts to the wives of the visiting world leaders and they now hang in the White House, Downing Street and the Kremlin.

In 2009, she was instrumental in the SQA launching the exciting artonline programme, a web-based system that allows public bodies, schools and colleges to borrow original, framed artwork from its art collection to display or use as a teaching facility.

Jennifer said: ”The Fellowship was all very unexpected, but I was truly honoured and humbled to receive it.”

Born on the Isle of Arran, Jennifer was a board member of the former Crawford Arts Centre in St Andrews and currently works with the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy to deliver workshops in schools.

The SQA is the national accreditation and awarding body in Scotland. It works with schools, colleges, universities, industry, and government, to provide high quality, flexible and relevant qualifications and is the national body responsible for the development and assessment of all subjects taught in Scottish schools and colleges.