Collaborating to help close the attainment gap
A pilot scheme to help schools and youth work organisations work together to close the attainment gap in education has been launched.
The new Youth Work and Schools Partnership programme will offer young people the opportunity to develop relationships with trusted adults and provide learning opportunities outwith the home and school environment.
It is part of a collective effort the Scottish Government is taking to close the attainment gap as part of the wider £750 million Scottish Attainment Challenge. The programme will be delivered by YouthLink Scotland, with up to £324,000 Scottish Government funding over three years.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney launched the new programme during a visit to Bellshill Academy in North Lanarkshire today. He said:
“Every child must be able to fulfil their full potential and our work on closing the attainment gap does not end at the school gates. Youth work is an incredibly valuable influence on the life chances for many young people, particularly those affected by poverty and inequality or who are disengaged with education.
“Teachers are already doing what they can to close the attainment gap, but an adult who is not a teacher can sometimes provide a different and welcome perspective for young people. This programme will help deliver our vision for excellence and equity for all by allowing more young people to experience the benefits of youth work and the opportunities it can bring.”
Tim Frew, Chief Executive of YouthLink Scotland, said:
“The youth work sector plays a key role in encouraging and supporting all young people to realise their ambitions and aspirations through learning. Youth workers working alongside formal education colleagues in our schools and colleges contribute to lifelong and life-rich learning opportunities for young people - often enabling them to overcome barriers. This work takes place after school, in the evenings, weekends and school holidays as well as during the school day.
“This funding acknowledges youth workers as effective partners in closing the poverty-related attainment gap for our children and young people. I am delighted that the Scottish Government is supporting us to build the capacity of youth work and schools partnerships and understand the impact of this work.”
You may be interested in our National Youth Work Conference being held in Glasgow on 27 November 2019 - find out more here. This conference will focus on youth work’s role in closing the attainment gap – within and beyond school; ensuring every child and young person has the same opportunity to succeed and fulfil their potential.