Junior Award Scheme for Schools

A world wide Accredited Learning Programme for young people. Recognising wider achievement.


The Junior Award Scheme for Schools (JASS) is an accredited learning programme designed to support younger age groups through the transition from primary to secondary education, acknowledging wider achievement across the broad general education phase and assisting with pupil profiling. JASS is fully inclusive and the Award can be gained by individuals from all backgrounds and abilities.

JASS is a fantastic tool to help bridge the attainment gap – especially in high deprivation areas (e.g through the Pupil Equity Funding or the Scottish Attainment Challenge Fund), whilst also recognising wider achievement.

Typically the work for an Award is spread over an academic year, however JASS is a highly flexible award and this can be adapted to suit the needs and abilities of the individual participant. For example, a Gold Award can be spread over two years. This has been proved to be particularly effective in Additional Support Need settings.

Mentors would normally work with participants to plan their own programme of activity over the four sections. Objectives should be challenging, yet achievable, taking into account their individual abilities and activities may be group or individual based.

The cross-curricular programme can incorporate existing in-school activities as well as the young persons’ out-of school interests.

Self- accredited, JASS gives mentors the flexibility to tailor activities to the needs of the participants’ and circumstances and to use external resources as appropriate to deliver them, using their professional judgement to mainain the standards of the award.


In November 2015 over 200 JASS participants and 11 JASS champions from a broad range of backgrounds took part in a programme evaluation. This aimed to ensure that the JASS programme delivered what it set out to do. A full copy of this evaluation is available in the Resources section on the right hand side of this page.

Some of the comments received during this evaluation are below.

“JASS is fantastic at providing a goal centred individual programme and allows pupils to reflect. It encourages a growth mindset and self-confidence.” (JASS Champion)

“I liked the JASS programme because it was fun to challenge myself and push myself to the limit.” (Silver Participant)

“I liked how you had to organise it yourself.” (Bronze Participant)

“Some pupils have become far more confident in their own abilities and have learnt not to be scared of unknown experiences. A lot of success for all pupils was achieved through JASS” (JASS Champion)


JASS has proven to be a flexible programme to support young people with additional support needs, and is currently being used in the majority of additional support need schools in Edinburgh.


We have collated a selection of case studies about JASS.

View Case Studies


JASS is designed to be very flexible and easy to integrate with other school and extra-curricular activities. It can be delivered without any specialist training but does require careful planning and organisation. Normally a JASS ‘champion’ or manager will be identified at each school or location. The JASS Champion will be the contact point for JASS and be responsible for organising the JASS team and coordinating the various activities and experiences that will be offered to participants.

To be successful there needs to be a range of activities appropriate for different levels of award and an element of pupil choice. Activities may be school based or arranged in conjunction with external resources.

The JASS Development Worker will help you set up JASS in your school and can arrange training sessions for staff.


JASS is fully aligned with current educational thinking and in particular with “A Curriculum for Excellence” and the “Outdoor Learning Strategy“.

The underlying capacities within the Curriculum for Excellence are:

Successful Learners | Confident Individuals | Effective Contributors | Responsible Citizens

As the Curriculum for Excellence develops and our understanding of the learning opportunities that can be offered to pupils expands, JASS can be a strong partner in describing and evidencing the new breadth of learning and in providing new levels of challenge to sit alongside the core curriculum. JASS can also start to prepare pupils in terms of work and enterprise skills and culture. These can be further developed within awards like The Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE), John Muir Award, and 16+ Activity Agreements.

The structure of JASS is designed to stretch different aspects of developing confident individuals lends itself very well to assisting with the pupil profiling, particularly in the final year of primary school, but – as JASS is not restricted to younger age groups – also with older pupils within Additional Support Needs settings.

JASS can work to integrate schools with other partners that may not have been part of formal learning within the school environment, working together to compliment individual learning, using JASS as the means of evidencing the learning.

A full overview of the Curriculum for Excellence is available here.

Though JASS was developed alongside the Curriculum for Excellence, there is no doubt that there are similar factors across the National Curriculum as well as curriculums’ worldwide.


We work in partnership with a number of organisations across the UK. For a full listing please visit our partnerships page.

See our Partnerships