For the last decade, the council and MCR Pathways have nurtured and extended a pioneering and highly successful mentoring and talent development programme for disadvantaged and care experienced young people across a number of the city's secondary schools.
More than 600 young people are now supported in their schools by mentors from all walks of life and all ages. Powerful statistics published in the 2017 Impact Report today, Thursday 13 July, reveals that more secondary pupils than ever before are achieving better results in literacy and numeracy and staying on rates in this group of young people is at an all-time high. Critically, reversing decades of poor national outcomes for young people in the care system, record numbers of Glasgow's young people are progressing directly to college, university and employment.
Maureen McKenna, Executive Director of Education is delighted with the progress of the programme and said today: "Quite simply - working with MCR Pathways over the last 10 years has had an incredible impact on the positive destinations of the young people who've been mentored. Three years ago only 48.8% of our most disadvantaged young people in the city went on to positive destinations on leaving school - to either a job, college or university - this has now jumped to an amazing 81%.
"This is great news for our young people, the city, our school staff and of course the mentors."
Relationship mentoring in Glasgow schools is undoubtedly closing the attainment gap in the city and helping some of our most vulnerable pupils.
As Iain MacRitchie, Founder of MCR Pathways, explains: "Above all else, our project is all about the young people and the potential we can all help realise in everyone who becomes a part of the MCR Pathway family.
"The Impact Report is all about the young people's success stories, the fact and figures, the achievements, case studies, commitments and our bold plans for the future as we look to celebrate 10 amazing years of mentoring and talent development in Glasgow. We are very determined to bridge the talent of all our young people with the many opportunities our great city has to offer. MCR mentoring is the bridge"
What stands out in the report is the comments from the young people, the mentors, families and school staff. Every participant benefits and the longer the programme runs in each school the greater the impact. St Andrew's Secondary where MCR Pathways first started in 2007 best illustrates the extent where 100% of their mentored young people progressed to college, university or employment in contrast to a starting position of 31%. From a qualifications perspective those with 5 or more subjects at level 4 or better, St Andrews was 91% compared to Glasgow at 60% and national at 54%. For all those on the MCR Pathways programme across the 10 schools analysed it was 88%.
The project is making a huge difference to the lives of so many who were in need or just coping - and now supporting more than 600 young people across the city.
But it's also about making a difference in the lives of the mentors - you just need to read their comments to see what becoming a mentor has meant to them and benefited them in ways that they had not thought possible.
MCR Pathways is currently operating in 15 secondary schools and working on a plan to extend into all 30 as well as set a national precedent. The partnership between Glasgow City Council and MCR is pioneering and has a simple target to mentor every care experienced and disadvantaged young person across the city. This means building the capacity and number of mentors to support 1500 young people.
In January this year, Glasgow City Council also announced an ambitious target - to engage up to 10% of council employees as mentors or as part of the talent taster programme.
As Iain MacRitchie concludes: "When one mentors, two lives are changed. Organisations are also benefitting hugely with staff skills being enriched and developed in profound ways. People really do make Glasgow and the commitment from individuals is inspired and inspiring. An increasing number of Glasgow's organisations are signing up to encourage and support their staff to mentor as part of their working week. It is a privilege to work with so many people so determined to help young people realise their full potential and be defined by their talent and never their circumstances.
"As well as mentoring, our Talent Taster Programme is expanding and already revolutionising work experience for individuals and organisations alike. We have a number of very significant plans coming to fruition and will be announced after the summer"