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Transforming education for care experienced pupils at Belmont Academy

Year: 2019
Topic: Education, Voices of young people
Author: Tracy Stewart

For International Youth Day 2019, with its theme of Transforming Education, we spoke to Tracey Stewart, Head Teacher of Belmont Academy in Ayr, about a project aiming to ensure care experienced young people at the school feel listened to and included. The project is being delivered in partnership with the South Ayrshire CHAMPS Board and CELCIS.

Belmont Academy has the largest school roll in South Ayrshire and also has the largest cohort of children in care, many of them placed from other local authority areas.

The school and the CHAMPS Board wanted to bring the care experienced young people together, to support and encourage them to discuss their needs and help them to share their views.

Tracey Stewart secured funding for a Care Experienced Lead Teacher for the school, and Maggie Kay, a respected teacher at the school and care experienced herself, secured the post. Together with the CHAMPS Board, a Friday lunchtime club has been set up for care experienced pupils from all years to come together.

Hear from young people taking part in the club; Isaac Hussein from the South Ayrshire CHAMPS Board, and Maggie Kay, Care Experienced Lead.

Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of young people.

CELCIS's support 

CELCIS's Education Team is providing strategic support to South Ayrshire Council with the aim of improving the learning experience and outcomes of care experienced young people in the authority area.

In the first phase of this project three priority areas were identified:

  • Children's rights and participation (- an example being this project at Belmont Academy)
  • Attendance
  • Transitions

Our work includes supporting the local authority to develop a more robust monitoring and evaluation framework to help them measure outcomes and impact.

Contact us

University of Strathclyde, Curran Building, Level 6
94 Cathedral St, Glasgow G4 0LG
0141 444 8500
celcis@strath.ac.uk

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