St Ninian's Star Pupils Celebrate Success with Celtic FC and at Prestigious Education Awards

Categories: School News

There’s been much cause for celebration this month for pupils and staff at St. Ninian’s HS in East Dunbartonshire as boys from Celtic FC’s Youth Academy School Partnership enjoyed a hatrick of high profile successes with the first team.


This weekend (21st May), S5/6 student Jack Aitchison became Celtic’s youngest ever player and goal scorer when he hit the back of the net against Motherwell FC at the age of 16yrs 71days.


Tony Ralston, who left the school last year, also made his debut for the Club earlier this month against St. Johnstone.


Both boys were no doubt inspired by former classmate, 18 year old Kieran Tierney who has had a sensational season with the first team, culminating in being named Scotland’s PFA Young Player of the Year at the start of May.


The partnership between the Kirkintilloch school and Celtic FC was the first of its kind when it was set up in 2008 and has produced a steady stream of footballing talent.


Off the field, the school is also setting its sights on a very successful year, having been shortlisted for four awards at the UK-wide TES Schools Awards (Secondary School of the Year and the Community and Collaboration Award) and the Scottish Education Awards (Raising Attainment in Numeracy and Learning through Technology)


Headteacher Paul McLaughlin, who himself was named UK Headteacher of the Year a few years ago, is delighted with the recent string of successes.


He said, “The boys who are part of our partnership with Celtic work so hard on the field and in the classroom. Everyone at St. Ninian’s is just delighted that Kieran, Jack and Tony are making a name for themselves and doing so brilliantly.

“Being shortlisted at these prestigious Scottish and UK-wide awards is also wonderful news and is testament to the commitment of pupils and staff at this school to continue to build on our strengths and strive to be innovative. We are always striving to do better and offer our pupils the broadest, most exciting and challenging education possible.


East Dunbartonshire Council’s Convener of Education, Councillor Maureen Henry, was thrilled to hear the school’s  news and said, “It is clear that the partnership with Celtic is paying off and that the boys who are involved are thriving. Congratulations to all the young men who are making a name for themselves and carving out successful careers.


“Not only has St Ninian’s risen above tough competition from throughout Scotland in the Scottish Education Awards but  it has been selected from some of the very best schools in the whole of the UK in the TES Schools Awards.


“To have been shortlisted for these prestigious awards is great success in itself and everyone at St Ninian’s should be very proud. I wish the pupils and the teachers all the very best of luck for the awards ceremonies in June.”