Meet the finalists: Raising Attainment – sponsored by Education Scotland

We all know education doesn’t stop at the school gates – every young person should have the chance to succeed. Youth work offers young people the opportunity to learn, develop and flourish outside the classroom. It overcomes barriers to learning, encourages positive choices, and closes the poverty-related attainment gap.

This Award highlights the brilliant youth work happening in partnership with schools and colleges to make sure young people have a strong role in shaping their learning.

This award is kindly sponsored by Education Scotland:

“Education Scotland is delighted to continue supporting the National Youth Awards by sponsoring the Raising Attainment category. Congratulations to all those special individuals and groups whose support and encouragement is helping our young people to achieve their full potential.” – Gayle Gorman

It’s time to meet the fabulous finalists:

The Spartans Community Football Academy, Edinburgh

For some young people, the traditional classroom environment is a struggle. The Spartans Community Football Academy understand this and work in partnership with schools across Edinburgh to provide a flexible, tailored learning pathway for students at their alternative school.

And their impact is clear, as students have gone on to achieve qualifications that would not have been possible without a different take on learning.

Alternative School Manager, Emma Easton sums up their approach:

"We are led by the young people’s interests and desire to succeed. All our academic work is set in a context relevant to the young person and we work alongside them wherever possible to unlock their potential and help them achieve. The young people tell us they respond to our consistency, warmth, humour and relentless positivity as we offer them an opportunity to reach their goals."

East Ayrshire Council’s Home Link Team 

All roads lead back home. The influence of home life, parents and carers is a huge factor in a young person’s success. With a focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap, over the last 16 months the Home Link Team have supported over 400 families across East Ayrshire.

The programme puts young people and their families at the heart of what they do. From holiday learning sessions through to literacy workshops with parents and carers, the team take an intelligent, joined up approach to bringing everyone together for the nurture of young people. Their impact has resulted in increased attendance and a decrease in exclusions from school.

Showing compassion, understanding and ensuring every young person and parent or carer is supported to aspire to be the best they can, that’s what the Home Link Team are all about.

Paul Ross, Inverclyde Council

 “The hard data speaks for itself! Exclusions are reduced, attendance is increased and engagement is off the scale. Pupils are now engaged in education right up to S6. We are closing the gap and a lot of this is down to Paul’s dedication.”

That is the verdict of Denise Crawford, Head Teacher of Inverclyde Academy, frankly, you couldn’t get a better review.

Paul Ross has been working at the school for two years with a clear remit to raise attendance and attainment among a targeted group of young people aged 12 to 18.

Working in an area of high deprivation he knows the challenges his young people face but taking on board partnerships across the community, he has tailored a programme of exciting learning opportunities that are bringing enthusiasm and passion to disengaged youngsters and ultimately a brighter path to walk down in the future.

Book your ticket

If you've not booked your ticket for the National Youth Work Awards and want to join these awesome finalists as well as many others, head over to our National Youth Work Awards pagewhere you can book your ticket and meet all of the other fabulous finalists.

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