A CLACKS school has been awarded Community Engagement Initiative of the Year for their work with Parkinson's patients.

Alva Academy's well-renowned Parkinson's Singing Group earned itself the accolade at the Times Educational Supplement (TES) Awards.

Judges at the awards ceremony, held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on Friday, June 23, were impressed with the sense of community and sheer volume of charity work and fundraising being carried out at Alva.

Tim Brighouse, judge at the TES Awards, said: "As I read about this school, I wish I'd brought up my kids there!

"Alva Academy is a warm, welcoming and collaborative learning community, inclusive of all the young people in the area it serves.

"The staff and the pupils between them raise a small fortune each year for a plethora of charities, serve discretely the poorest families and create a musical lifeline for those suffering from Parkinson's."

The Singing Group is led by David Clifford, faculty principal teacher for music, PE, dance and art, who launched the group five years ago following his father's diagnosis with Parkinson's.

Since then, more than 500 pupils have become involved with the group, building relationships with those living with the condition and help ease their symptoms.

The initiative proved to be so popular that Parkinson's UK invited Alva Academy to deliver workshops at a national event to promote Parkinson's singing groups and help set up new ones around the country.

David impressed judges at the TES awards so much that he was also awarded Subject Lead of the Year (Secondary) for Music owing to the exceptional music results by students.

The department head implemented a classroom-to-care home initiative in which more than 1000 pupils shared their talents with over 100 care homes across the UK.

David co-ordinates pupils and staff to hold fundraising concerts in support of Macmillan Cancer Support and performers go on to regularly participate in Remembrance events.

He said: "It's an incredible honour to have won this award for the work that is going on in the school.

"The unifying benefits of music were felt during the pandemic, and to have been able to carry on this work and build on it has been amazing.

"I'd encourage all schools to recognise the value of bringing people together through music and the arts."

This was the TES School Awards 15th year anniversary, working to celebrate the commitment, quality and innovation shown by teachers and staff across the UK.

Scott McEwan, headteacher at Alva Academy, said: "We are so proud of the national recognition of winning such a big award for a school in one of the smallest Scottish constituencies.

"Community is at the centre of our school and it is the pupils that will be the community of the future."