ScotCen Social Research is Scotland’s leading social research institute and is the Scottish arm of NatCen, Britain’s leading independent social research institute.
“I understand Pastoral Care do care, but it wasn’t like that intimate bond ‘cause they’ve got hundreds of students that they need to see and make sure that they’re doing OK, so like of course there are gonna be people that like slip through, and I was one of those people who were like slipping by and not getting the help that I feel I needed…
But with a mentor – because it is a one-on-one basis – it’s much more intimate and there’s much more attention on the issue, and I think that really helped me …”
– Young person involved in the study
Churchill Fellow researching youth mentoring programmes internationally and member of the Social Security Advisory Committee, Associate Director for Scotland Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
“MCR Pathways is now undoubtedly proven as an intervention that has an unquestionable positive social and economic impact. This truly supports the most vulnerable young people moving them forward towards a positive destination.
We now need to work together across Scotland to embed this approach; collaborate to consolidate significant positive outcomes for Scotland’s young people.”
– Sir Tom Hunter, entrepreneur and philanthropist
“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.”
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 firsthand experience, I simply ask that MCR is made a permanent feature of our education system.”
– Dr. Iain MacRitchie, MCR Pathways Founder and Social Entrepreneur
“We can be confident that the MCR Pathways programme did have a positive impact on participants’ moving on to a positive destination after leaving school. The analysis showed that upon leaving school, 81.6% of mentored pupils went on to a positive destination, 25.3 percentage points higher than their peers.”
– Extract from the ScotCen Evaluation
Prior to their involvement with MCR Pathways, many young people shared that they felt shy, and uncomfortable with talking openly.
This held them back, with many reporting that they were hesitant to take part in class discussions or activities.
By speaking regularly with their mentor, young people gained self assurance and felt more at ease talking to adults.
It’s given me confidence, like I used to be like really shy, say if you’d come to me in fourth year I would be stuttering, not being able to answer these questions and getting really embarrassed. Now I’m like answering the questions…I think everyone should have a mentor.”
Again and again, young people stated that the non judgemental, emotional support of their mentor was key to helping them get through difficult situations. On top of this emotional support, young people received practical support for their challenges, both those faced inside school and out. This duo support helped young build their independence and ability to approach new challenges.
“It helps you keep positive. It helped me look forward and not dwell on the past. My mentor always helped me think about the fact that I’ve overcome so much already, there’s nothing that could stop me now. And, if I did go down, she would always say that, “There is nothing that you can’t do.” (Young person)
Attendance issues can have multiple causes. The researchers found that mentoring was instrumental in tackling each young person’s individual barriers
Mentors helped build self-confidence and supported young people to address underlying reasons for non-attendance at school, which helped them develop positive behaviours. The report found that this helped change young people’s attitude to school.
“I deliberately put meetings with mentor to the end of the week so I would need to come in constantly… then over time it just changed my viewpoint on school – just actually waking up and wanting to go to school, rather than just making it a chore.” YP