The YGT story has not always been smooth sailing, but the courage of our organisation to push forward and succeed has never been in doubt. This is a long term commitment which brings together like-minded individuals and organisations who are deeply committed to changing the prospects of future generations.
MCR Pathways was founded by philanthropist Iain MacRitchie. Iain succeeded in the business world by turning around failing corporations, but after improving the financial success of over 90 children’s homes and 5 residential schools, realised these were not the changes that really needed to be made. The talents of these young people were left undeveloped and potential unrealised, forgotten completely as they turned 18. Iain realised the key to these young people’s success lay in education and the catalyst for the creation of MCR Pathways was born.
After this realisation, a chance meeting took place with Bruce Malone and Donna Cunningham, Head Teacher and Senior Manager at St Andrew’s Secondary School. In 2007, Donna began providing dedicated and individual support to care experienced young people in the school. The goal was to develop these young people’s confidence and talents by giving individualised attention to each child’s specific story.
The power of relationships
It soon became clear that a key way to bring stability to the lives of these young people was by introducing a mentor, a reliable adult who is there for no other reason than they care. Trusting relationships are the building blocks on which a young person can have the confidence to explore their talents and potential.
Expansion to 6 schools
For Maureen McKenna, Glasgow’s Executive Director of Education, the MCR approach was persuasive. Consequently St Andrew’s Secondary was then joined by St Rochs Secondary, Springburn Academy, Lochend Community High, Eastbank Academy and Smithycroft Secondary. It was not all smooth going but the will and resilience never wavered. Giving up was never an option. The number of young people supported rose to 350.
To scale YGT meant utilising our network of committed, like-minded individuals across organisations and institutions, who were suitably experienced to help. There emerged a key team of Pioneers dedicating to meeting each week to lay down the very best foundations for expansion. The Herald embraced our cause and promoted our mentor recruitment campaign which gathered momentum along with corporate and institutional engagement.
Our thanks to:
Glasgow Life, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Kelvin College, Wheatley Group, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, SECC, SFC, CELCIS, The Herald, STV, Life Changes Trust, Robertson Trust, MCR Holdings, Glasgow City Council to name but a few.
YGT by MCR Pathways
MCR’s branding was built towards educating potential mentors about the disadvantage young care experienced people in Glasgow have to face, and to encourage them to dedicate their time to mentoring to help change this terrible reality. However this approach had the potential to dishearten our young people, which is why we have created YGT, a side of the MCR coin dedicated to speaking directly to our young people about their talent, potential and the future.
More thanks to: Scott Taylor, the man behind People Make Glasgow, Marie McQuade an MCR Pioneer and Iain himself are converting a vision into a reality. Macguires Advertising & Design brought it to life. Phil Sanderson created the design and Chris Maguire and his team went beyond the call of duty to produce an array of engaging marketing materials. The YGT philosophy of only the best will do was met and exceeded in every detail.
Forgotten in 10 years | the MCR definition of success
MCR refuses to accept that there should be any difference in education outcomes and life chances based on circumstances beyond young people’s control. YGT is a long term, not one off, project and aims to become “business as usual” across the city. The founders objective is to be forgotten in 10 years time as this will be the norm as to how young people will be supported in school.
In 2007, in one East End school in Glasgow, MCR Pathways was brought to life. Now, Young Glasgow Talent supports over 300 young people aged between 13 to 18 in eight Glasgow schools, with a citywide expansion plan and national ambition. Within the next 3 years the programme is set to expand further across the city establishing Scotland as the place where all children without exception can realise their full potential. Read more about the 8 schools we are currently working within.
Drumchapel High School is a comprehensive non-denominational school serving the community of Drumchapel situated in the west of Glasgow. Drumchapel has undergone, and continues to undergo, major regeneration and is in an ideal position to be at the heart of this regeneration process. As part of the rebuilding of the community Drumchapel High School moved into a purpose built new school about five years ago, with space for 850 pupils.
Drumchapel High School welcomes young people from first year through to sixth year, regardless of ability, ethnicity or religious belief. They offer a full curriculum with presentation at all levels and are also developing strong links with local colleges.
Eastbank Academy is a non-denominational secondary school in the East End of Glasow. They are particularly proud of their young people and their long history of effective partnerships which have been focused on improving their students chances of success. They have been a fantastic supporter of MCR Pathways in their school. They “hope that young people leave school with strong transferable skills and a resilience which will stand them in good stead for some of the challenges that lie ahead.”
Knightswood Secondary School
Knightswood Secondary School is located in the West End of Glasgow, one of the City’s largest Secondarys with a roll of approximately 1300 pupils and 100 teaching staff. We are co-educational, non-selective and non-denominational, educating pupils of all abilities, cultures and social backgrounds. The school works alongside its associated Early Years establishments and the Primary Schools of Knightswood, Blairdardie, Bankhead, Garscadden, Scotstoun and Yoker.
Everything we are trying to achieve is underpinned and sustained by our values which are
A unique feature of the school is that we are the home of the National Dance School of Scotland which provides specialist tuition for some of the country’s most gifted young dancers and musical theatre performers. These youngsters follow the School curriculum and take a full and active part in School life in addition to the specialist training they receive.
Knightswood Secondary wanted to imbed the MCR Pathways programme into the school to target our most vulnerable learners so that they will see their confidence, self-esteem and with time their aspirations grow. It is hoped that the young people involved in the programme will make a positive transition from school to Employment, Further Education or Higher Education.
MCR Pathways will enhance our mentoring and Duke of Edinburgh programmes which run in our Senior Phase and bring these high quality experiences to appropriate young people in the Broad General Education. Having a dedicated Pathway Coordinator in school will have a positive impact in the engagement and progress of the targeted pupils.
Lochend Community High is a non-denominational school located in Easterhouse in the North East of Glasgow. Despite the challenges of working in an area of regeneration their young people have aspirations to be the best that they can be and work together with their committed staff and our Pathways Coordinators to secure their future and career pathways. For those under risk of missing out, Young Glasgow Talent has proven to be a key component in building aspirations and gaining higher achievement. Lochend Community High has proven to be extremely committed to the mentoring programme in place.
Lourdes Secondary is a comprehensive school in the Southside of Glasgow and serves the communities of Cardonald, Crookston, Govan, Hillington and Penilee. Lourdes Secondary is an inclusive Catholic community of faith and learning, rich in our diversity and offering a climate of high expectations and aspirations for all. The young people in Lourdes Secondary are encouraged to aspire to the faith ideals of love for God and for people to enrich their community.
Lourdes Secondary has recently joined the MCR Pathway programme. Working in partnership with the staff in Lourdes and parents/carers the school is enthusiastic that the young people’s participation in the MCR Pathway programme will set them on the pathway to a brighter more successful future.
St Andrews is a denominational Secondary School in Glasgow’s East End. They are committed to their Vision of Excellence for 2017 which means “achieving the highest levels of attainment and achievement for every individual young person and improve the lives and life chances of all our young people”. They are driven to provide the best possible outcome for our students to make sure they excel way beyond expectations. We have been in partnership with them for over 7 years and their dedication and support has given our mentoring programme the space to thrive.
St Mungo’s Academy is a denominational, co-educational, comprehensive, secondary school located in Bridgeton, Glasgow. 800 young people attend the school in the city’s east end. The school holds very strong values at the heart of everything it does. It’s a place where staff and young people: “Welcome everyone and no one is alone; treat everyone with care, compassion and consideration; always encourage hope in each other; recognise the dignity of each individual person; and practice justice, forgiveness and peace.” The school’s ethos is to recognise the voice of every single person. It’s focused on developing and maintaining strong relationships with parents/carers “as the first educators of their children”. The school values every member of the institution – staff, parents/carers and young people – learning from each other.
St Paul’s is a denominational High School located in Pollock in the south of the city. Over 700 pupils attend the school. Its ethos is built on the values of promotion of self belief, equality and the rewarding of success. The young people attending are all truly valued and cared for. “Aiming High for Young People” is the school’s motto. Every member of staff is totally dedicated to improving the life chances of every young person in the school. St Paul’s is one of the more recent schools to join the MCR Pathways Young Glasgow Talent programme. Their support has been tremendous and we’re extremely excited to be working further with the school’s staff, pupils and parents and carers.
St Rochs is a denominational Secondary school serving the North of Glasgow and has a school population that truly reflects the cultural and ethnic diversity of Glasgow. They “believe in the development of the individual as a whole person, spiritual, as well as physical, emotional and intellectual”. This belief shines through as they have utilised Young Glasgow Talent to a great extent and contributed to the emotional, spiritual and intellectual well being of their students.
Smithycroft Secondary School is an inclusive non-denominational school in the East End of Glasgow. At the heart of all their activities is a desire to ensure that all their young people have equality of opportunity to achieve their very best. Their ethos encourages them to attain the best qualifications they can; to achieve success in a wide range of activities and experiences; and to aspire to be the very best in all that they do.
Springburn Academy is a six year co-educational and non-denominational secondary school situated just to the north east of the centre of Glasgow. The school serves a rich mix of communities and takes pupils from Springburn, Possilpark, Milton, Balornock, Barmulloch, Sighthill and surrounding areas.
The school currently has about 800 pupils with about 12% of pupils who can speak another language(s) in addition to English. Springburn Academy provides a broad and balanced curriculum leading to a full range of SQA qualifications and wider achievements. The school’s aim is to provide a welcoming and friendly environment to ensure that all pupils are successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors who are prepared to take their place in society. The school’s involvement in the MCR Pathways project is greatly appreciated by the pupils and their parents/guardians and has helped to ensure that the young people have a positive destination when they leave school.
If we’re not in your school yet then don’t fret. We’ll be there sooner than you can say Young Glasgow Talent!