‘I am not really one of the most able in the school; can I really become an SAS student?’

You most certainly can. Anyone that tells you that this is for the ‘clever’ students or just a select few are simply wrong! You must be working at or above your target grade in all areas. So, you will see this is open to a student with a target grade of a 3 or a 9.

‘It seems really tough and harsh-is it fair?’

It is tough- joining the academic version of the SAS should be. We don’t think that you would really value something that anyone could get and you passed because people felt sorry for you. When you take your driving test you have to pass because you are competent; some people take many attempts. Would you let someone unsafe have a driving licence because it seemed sad they had failed in the past?

‘Why should you have to pass every single part to get it?

This is accrediting you as a total advanced student. Being a leading student requires you to not just have aspects of excellence but a total command of what is needed.

‘I have heard that if you fail you can’t ever have another go at becoming an SAS, is this correct?’

Not at all, you can and will be encouraged to make as many attempts as possible. In fact, having the resilience to do so is a vital ingredient of being in the SAS cohort. If you don’t make it at any point you will get help and direction as to what you need to do. You will be given the opportunity to have a current SAS member support and guide you. Don’t forget, if you fall at certain stages it does not mean your next application means you go all the way back to stage 1.

‘If you become a SAS can you have it taken off you?’

Yes you can, being a SAS hold responsibilities. How can you coach  and support, how can you fulfil your ambassadorial role and how can you drive up standards if you fall below the standard. There will be a set of criteria for losing your status. We never expect it to  happen but it is needed to secure the status of the award. Just as an Advanced Skills Teacher can have this taken off them, our scheme is driven by excellence.

‘How long does it take to become a member of the SAS?’

This is up to you really. There are no time limits for you to go through the stages and you can start in one academic year and complete in the next. Each stage is a ‘when ready’ system. However, when you decide to start the clock you must be ready to go! Typically we expect a student to take 6-10 weeks to gain the award.