In 2006, St Andrew’s RC Secondary in Glasgow’s East End surpassed all expectations in their HMI Report. The school, located in one of the poorest areas of Scotland, ranked higher than leading private schools. This defied national statistics which showed that poverty negatively impacts young people’s performance. But looking closer this wasn’t the whole picture.
Glasgow, which has just 10% of the nation’s population, has 20% of Scotland’s care-experienced young people. Their outcomes, even at outstanding schools, fell far below average. Only 4% of St Andrew’s care-experienced young people stayed in school after age 16 and only 31% went onto a positive destination compared to 90% of their peers. Care-experienced young people are just as talented as any other – but when they have a difficult homelife it can deeply affect their relationship with school.
“The best bit about having a mentor is just having someone in your life, there to give you the boost, encouragement or even just to make you laugh or just to listen. The biggest change I’ve seen in myself is my confidence. I just get to be me pretty much, instead of a wee shell of a person.” Bryan, Lochend Community High School.
20-27 of October 2019 is Care-Experienced Week
We’re going to be taking this time to dig into stats and stories about young people who have experience with care. What we’ve seen – as in the case of St Andrew’s – is that we NEED to highlight the stories of these young people because so often their voices go unheard.
2019 has been a watershed year for policy changes for care-experienced people and we’re going to be taking some time to breakdown these changes.
MCR was founded to help care-experienced young people and to close the gap of inequality. Through mentoring, young people can gain the confidence they need to succeed. To make real change, we need to understand issues, include the opinions of care-experienced people in decision making, share stories and celebrate success. But most importantly, we need to give care-experienced young people the opportunity to tell their stories.