The latest news from Newbattle Abbey College

Newbattle’s achievements recognised in Scottish Funding Council report

Every year, all colleges and universities in Scotland enter into an Outcome Agreement with The Scottish Funding Council. The agreement outlines what each institution will deliver in return for the funding it receives from SFC. The SFC have just published their Achievement Report, which celebrates the work of colleges and universities over the last two years.

Our case studies featured highlight mental health and wellbeing and fair access to transition.

The first case study entitled ‘Supporting Wellbeing through Prescribe Nature’ shares the journey of Lee who first joined our Prescribe Nature course at Newbattle, she then successfully completed our Rural Skills Course and is now finishing the Access to Higher Education: SWAP programme.

As a mum, Lee is enthusiastic about supporting other parents. Along with two of her friends, they set up IMPACT (Improving Midlothian Parents and Caregivers Time. The group went on to receive the ‘Outstanding New Volunteer’ at the Midlothian Volunteer Awards last year. The groups work has been recognised at a national level whereby an Early Day Motion supported by nine signatories in the UK parliament.

The second case study highlights the early screening process that our Support for Learning Team has implemented prior to students starting at the college. Students undergo a brief session where they are asked questions on IT support, general challenges, and mental health. By identifying these early on, it ensures that the right support measures are in place for our students starting. To develop the process further, the Support for Learning Team, are looking to incorporate self – reports where students can express their own perceptions of their challenges, strengths, and well-being. This will allow the team to tailor any support accordingly.

These case studies are a fantastic example of the incredible achievements of our students and the hard work from our dedicated staff who strive to ensure that Newbattle continues to be a nurturing learning environment.


Guided tours at Newbattle Abbey College are back!

If you are intrigued by our history, come and visit us to find out more!

Learn about the link between Newbattle and the Spanish Armada, hear about the royal visits of monarchs such as Queen Victoria and King George IV, discover more about the Cistercians monks and the medieval abbey and see what is believed to be the Christening font of Mary Queen of Scots and much more!

Tour dates: The last Friday of each month starting from Friday 28th June.

Time: 2pm

Meeting point: Newbattle Abbey College Reception

Admission: Adults £10 per person, Concession £8 (students & visitors aged 65+)

Essential information

Phone: Call our reception on 0131 663 1921


In person: Book in person at reception

Reception opening hours: Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 4.30pm

If you are unable to attend, please let us know as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements.

We expect tours to last around 60-75 minutes.

Given the nature of the building there are stairs and undulating surfaces. We do have a lift and an accessibility entrance. If you have any questions regarding accessibility, please let us know prior to booking. Our access guide is available here.

Tours are in English only.

Dogs are not permitted into the building except assistance dogs.

Pre-booking is required. Pay in advance or pay on the day available (cash or card).


Applications are OPEN for our courses
starting in September

For more information and to apply click on each course and, as always,
please get in touch if you have any questions!


Roots to Learning Shortlisted

The Roots to Learning programme at Newbattle Abbey College in Dalkeith has been shortlisted in the Health and Wellbeing category at RSPB Scotland’s prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards.

The Roots to Learning programme at Newbattle Abbey College in Dalkeith has been shortlisted in the Health and Wellbeing category at RSPB Scotland’s prestigious Nature of Scotland Awards.

Roots to Learning was set up to promote positive health and wellbeing experiences through nature and for nature. Initially, established as a pandemic response for young people aged 11- 24 to combat poor mental health and disengagement from learning it has developed into a longer term approach to nature recovery.

Roots to Learning is an innovative programme combining a ‘green prescription’ with an SCQF accredited Forest and Outdoor Learning Award (FOLA) for young people experiencing health and social/economic life challenges.  

An holistic programme involving nature connection experiences, discovering species, conservation activity, understanding seasonal cycles and sustainable use of resources. Blending a person-centred inclusive approach with the environmental nature of FOLAs, provides mutual benefits for the health of people and nature.   

We are most grateful for funding from Midlothian Community Young People’s Mental Health Framework which enabled the project to run.

Judy Paul, programme leader, said “It is exciting to see something so positive coming out of a response to the pandemic. Roots to Learning has developed a very special pathway to promote good health and wellbeing for both people and nature together. It clearly works and it is only the start with young people inspired to go on and share this with others. Watch these roots grow into a forest!”

Roots to Learning was announced as a finalist in the Health and Wellbeing category this week at the Nature of Scotland Awards Shortlist Reception at the Scottish Parliament, hosted by Colin Smyth MSP and sponsored by Beam Suntory.

The 54 finalists will all gather at the EICC on the 22 November to enjoy a night of celebration, where the winners of all 10 categories will be announced.  

The awards ceremony, now in its 12th year and co-sponsored by NatureScot, will be hosted by zoologist, TV presenter and RSPB Ambassador Megan McCubbin and TV presenter and nature enthusiast JJ Chalmers.

They will recognise the individuals and organisations making a difference in their local communities, businesses and schools to support Scotland’s wildlife and special places.

Nature-lovers also have a chance to choose their winner of the Community Initiative Award, which celebrates projects developed and led by the people it serves.  You can see the shortlist and vote for your favourite here.

Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “The Nature of Scotland Awards celebrates people and projects who really make a difference for nature in their local communities and across the country.

“Being at the head of the judging panel is a wonderful part of my job, as I get an unrivalled opportunity to hear about inspiring actions and the incredible things that can happen when people work together. – we can’t tackle the nature and climate crisis alone.

“I am so looking forward to seeing everyone at the awards in November, and would like to thank all of our applicants for sharing their tremendous work with us.”

Colin Galbraith, Chair of Awards co-sponsor NatureScot, said: “Our natural world is at the heart of the nation’s well-being, and this year’s shortlisted Nature of Scotland Awards nominees are shining examples of vital, nature-based solutions from people, communities, businesses and organisations across the country.

“As co-sponsor of the awards, we celebrate the inspiring efforts each and every nominee has contributed to Scotland’s mission to tackle biodiversity loss and the nature-climate crisis.”

Anyone with an interest in nature is welcome to attend the Awards, tickets are available at


Image: Collecting rain water and keeping spirits up on one very wet day!

Notes to Editors

Issued by Lisa Motion, 0131 663 1921

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity.  In England and Wales, no: 207076, in Scotland, no: SC037654.

X/Twitter: @NatureofScot

Image caption Collecting rain water and keeping spirits up on one very wet day!



Top marks for Newbattle!

A glowing report from Education Scotland

Newbattle Abbey College has been given top marks in a glowing report by Inspectors of Education following their visit in May. The Inspectors identified a range of strengths in how the College supports its students to succeed and progress to further study or employment. They found that success rates for students at Newbattle are better than national performance levels, including for students who have a disability, and progression rates are high.


Our staff were praised for the quality of their work, with particular mention of how well students who have been in the care system are supported. The report declared the Inspectors’ satisfaction with the College and did not identify any ‘main points for action’.


We provide access courses for adults and young people in transition, enabling advanced entry into university and preparation for employment. Places are still available for courses starting in August 2023, visit our courses overview for more information or call the team on 0131 663 1921.