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Published, 28 January 2020

Dramatic impact of mentoring programme

An independent evaluation published today (28 January) details the impact a mentoring programme has had on young people's decisions to stay on at school, the qualifications they gain and their ability to move on to a positive destination.

The three-year independent study of the MCR Pathway's mentoring programme, commissioned by the Robertson Trust and undertaken by ScotCen Social Research, provides extensive data analysis coupled with interviews of young people, mentors and teachers to determine the impact of the programme, not only on the education outcomes of the young people, but also improvements in attendance, confidence, aspirations and social skills of those taking part.

Highlights of the report show for those taking part:

  • an increase of over 10% in care experienced pupils continuing education into S5
  • a 21% increase in pupils achieving one or more SCQF Level 5 qualification
  • over 25% increase in pupils leaving school for college, university or a job

The report also found benefits to those who took part as mentors.

MCR Pathways Founder Iain MacRitchie said:

"We are inspired and humbled by the findings which prove the profound impact of relationship-based mentoring on education outcomes and life-chances of our young people. Our young people who experience the greatest disadvantages, need and deserve the best we have to offer and simply flourish with the support of a mentor."

"In addition to the education outcomes, the report also underlines additional major benefits in improved school attendance, confidence, aspirations and the key components of good mental health and wellbeing. Our Government has set well-being as a key measure of our social and economic success. Ensuring every one of our care-experienced young people become part of the MCR programme is a way to deliver this. We have been told by international experts that the MCR programme and its impact is world leading. Giving all our young people the right to the support they need, will ensure we transform not just the next generation but those that follow. As a mentor with first-hand experience, I simply ask that MCR is made a permanent feature of our education system."

Professor Jennifer Davidson, Executive Director, CELCIS said:

"This important report gives us the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the power that relationships can have to be transformational. MCR's work has been shown, not only to have a positive impact on young people's attainment, attendance and post-school destinations but also, to positively impact on self-worth, self-confidence and aspirations.

"The young people who took part in the study have used their voice to strengthen the messages that young people have been giving us for a number of years: having a trusting, consistent relationship with an adult is the cornerstone to creating positive, fulfilling and successful educational experiences. MCR's mentoring programme has shown that this way of working can, and does, make real positive changes to care experienced young people's educational outcomes and future life opportunities."


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