Presently, more than 700 young people – across 15 secondary schools – are supported in their schools by MCR and mentors from all walks of life and all ages. Over the next 4 months the programme will roll-out to all 30 city secondaries.
Powerful statistics recently published in the Impact Report revealed that more secondary pupils than ever before are achieving better results in literacy and numeracy and staying on rates in this group of young people is at an all-time high.
These statistics are reversing decades of poor national outcomes for young people in the care system, record numbers of Glasgow’s young people are progressing directly to college, university and employment. Where it was 48.8% previously, for mentored young people it is now 81%.
Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Education, Skills & Early Years is delighted with the expansion into all secondary schools and said today: “The partnership between MCR Pathways and the council over the last 10 years has had an incredible impact on the lives of the young people who’ve been mentored or been a part of the talent tasters.
“The fact that we can now take this successful model into the rest of our secondary schools and make a difference in the lives of every young person in need is great news for all involved – the schools and of course the young people.
“However, it does mean that our efforts to attract mentors to the programme is now crucial so as to meet the demand that we have identified across the city.”
Relationship mentoring in Glasgow schools is undoubtedly closing the attainment gap in the city and helping some of our most vulnerable pupils. As Iain MacRitchie, Founder of MCR Pathways, explains: “People make Glasgow and from every walk of life. This year’s People Make Glasgow Inspiring City Award for MCR was based on we the fantastic variety of mentors we have of all ages, professions, jobs and backgrounds. They all share the commitment to help a disadvantaged young person to find, grow and use their talent. We want to share the simple fact that mentoring relationships can have a profound impact on everyone involved. Anyone really can make and will themselves experience a life changing difference.”
In January this year, Glasgow City Council also announced an ambitious target – to engage up to 10% of council employees as mentors or as part of the talent taster programme.
Annemarie O’Donnell, Glasgow City Council Chief Executive, who announced the target, said today: “The response from council staff to our mentor and talent taster appeal has been incredible. I was never in any doubt that a variety of staff from departments and services across the city would rise to the challenge and find out more information about how they can help this important project.
“Our staff will help shape and influence the lives of many young people across the city over the next few years and I respect them all for volunteering. “However, now that we are expanding in to an additional 15 schools we need to encourage more and more people of all ages and all walks of life to get involved.”
As Iain MacRitchie concludes: “When one mentors, two lives are changed. I have learned so much from my mentee and in awe of her resilience and determination given the challenges she has faced. Organisations are also benefitting hugely with staff skills being enriched and developed in profound ways. People really do make Glasgow and the commitment from individuals is inspired and inspiring. An increasing number of Glasgow’s organisations are signing up to encourage and support their staff to mentor as part of their working week. It is a privilege to work with so many people so determined to help young people realise their full potential and be defined by their talent and never their circumstances.
“As well as mentoring, our Talent Taster Programme is expanding and already revolutionising work experience for individuals and organisations alike. We have a number of very significant plans coming to fruition and will be announced in the next few months.”