Catch up on this month's activity on the Scottish Mentoring Network website. Click the headlines to read more...
The youth work sector will recieve £3m of new funding to help support the education of young people who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Community Learning and Development services working with young people to build confidence and skills; support their mental health and wellbeing; and those that address the poverty-related attainment gap, can apply to the fund.
The awards will be between £20,000 and £60,000 and will aim to support the youth work sector to support children, young people and families disproportionately disadvantaged by the pandemic.
Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland’s vibrant youth work sector plays a crucial role in supporting children and young people’s well-being, and in closing the attainment gap.
“Throughout lockdown we have seen the sector rise to the challenge of providing services remotely, supporting some the most vulnerable young people across Scotland.
“This £3 million investment in youth work will help education recovery from COVID-19 by providing additional targeted services for young people, where they are needed the most”. 18 September
New support measures have been announced to support the mental health of school staff. This support will be available after the October break this year, and will include support delivered by Barnardo's and Place2Be. This is part of a 1.5 million pound package of support to help school staff manage the additional pressures that have resulted because of COVID-19.
Probation staff will also recieve mentoring and coaching support for the teachers who need it most. This will be delivered by Education Scotland and The General Teaching Council of Scotland.
Education Secretary John Swinney said,
“Supporting the health and wellbeing of teachers and other staff is of paramount importance. This was true before COVID-19, but it is of crucial importance as school staff support our children and young people to recover from the pandemic. This additional package of measures will complement the excellent practice which is already taking place to support the wellbeing of staff in schools across Scotland.”
Ken Muir, Chief Executive, of the General Teaching Council for Scotland, said:
"GTC Scotland is pleased to deliver this important support to hard-working teachers in collaboration with our partners in education. GTC Scotland has invested heavily in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of education professionals and we look forward to continuing to do so.”
Gillian Hamilton, Strategic Director at Education Scotland, said:
“Ensuring school staff feel well supported, particularly at this time, is essential. This new support package, designed collaboratively with partners in the Education Recovery Group, provides direct access to a range of focused supports including coaching, reflective supervision and opportunities for school staff to learn together through the challenges presented by COVID-19.”
Laurence Findlay, Aberdeenshire Council Director of Education and Children’s Services, said:
“I am delighted with the support package being put forward as part of ongoing efforts to support the education workforce. I hope as many practitioners as possible make use of these resources.” 17 September
Iain MacRitchie, founder of MCR Pathways mentoring charity has won the SCVO Third Sector Director of the Year at the Institute of Directors Awards. The awards ceremony was held online on Tuesday 8th of September and honoured the achievements of 19 outstanding leaders across a variety of sectors.
MCR Pathways was founded in 2007 to address the inequalities faced by care experienced young people. The mentoring programme is based in schools and has reached young people in 12 areas across Scotland.
Iain MacRitchie said of his win: “It is a huge honour and privilege for MCR Pathways to be recognised in this way and to highlight all the fantastic work that goes on across the third sector.
“I have had a career in overcoming challenges but none more important and more needed now than ensuring our young people are determined by their amazing talent and potential and never their circumstances.
“What our third sector does each and every day drives both social and economic benefit and is inspired and inspiring. It takes a depth of motivation, commitment and resilience - values that will help transform our country and make sure no one is left behind. I feel increasingly passionate and humbled by what our sector does and the incredible impact it makes.
“We will use the awards and do whatever we can to ensure the third sector gets all the recognition, resources and respect that it so richly deserves. And for MCR Pathways, we simply won’t stop until there is no difference in the education outcomes, job choices and life chances of our care experienced and most disadvantaged young people compared to any others." 14 September
Finance secretary, Kate Forbes, announced on the 3rd of September that there will be an investment of £4 million to create 5 technology hubs. These hubs will support the next generation of start ups through education, networking and mentoring.
The hubs will aim to support 300 start ups by 2025, and have been created in response to Mark Logan's Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review. The hubs will be known as 'tech scalers'. Ms Forbes said,
“I’m pleased to announce this initial investment in tech scalers, the central recommendation from Mark Logan’s groundbreaking review of our technology sector.
“These hubs will transform the quality and intensity of support available to Scottish start-ups, delivering world-class education to tech entrepreneurs, helping this vital sector to grow and create jobs.
“They will also offer the chance to network and share ideas, laying the groundwork for Scotland’s digital future.” 11 September
The John Smith Centre will deliver a new programme which will offer 50 placements to people from BME backgrounds, to help remove barriers into positions of leadership in society. The programme has been backed by £470,000 of Scottish Government funding and will last for a period of 9 months. The programme will focus on young people and will be backed by mentoring and feature placements across the voluntary, public and private sectors.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to achieving equality for all minority ethnic people and part of that means taking tangible steps to remove barriers and improve opportunities across society.
“Improving representation across all walks of life is key to achieving this aim and I am pleased that the John Smith Centre will deliver this important programme. The programme will provide up to 50 people with a fantastic opportunity to develop the skills they need to succeed.
“The programme will be developed and delivered in consultation with relevant organisations and people to ensure that we are learning from lived experience.
“I want to see talented participants from all walks of life taking part, including those who haven’t taken traditional academic routes to success. I hope the result will be an increase in numbers of minority ethnic people in leadership roles that reflect the society we live in.” 11 September
ITV has launched a new mentoring and investment programme to support young people, funded by Studio 55 Ventures. The aim of the programme is to break down the barriers which exist to starting up a media company. The programme will also offer funding of £10,000 per team, as well as training and support to the young media entrepreneurs. They are looking for eight teams of entrepreneurs who have ideas that are : “deeply ambitious, unique and can use ITV’s existing audiences, assets and data to be successful”.
ITV's Chief Executive, Dame Carolyn McCall said: “Since 1955, ITV has created fantastic content which has entertained millions and shaped popular culture.
“Studio 55 Ventures will help us continue to do that for another 65 years. Investing in people with the passion, vision and drive to ensure ITV remains loved by younger generations is core to our future, so I’m delighted to be launching this programme.
“Working with Founders Intelligence will enable us to take this bold step and deliver our strategy of transforming ITV into a digitally-led media and entertainment company.”
Read the full article at Yahoo News 11 September
The Bar Standards Board has launched a pilot reverse mentoring scheme, matching bar students, junior or trainee barristers from BME backgrounds, with senior white barristers. The mentors will help the mentees to become better allies to members of the BME community. The pilot programme has already started it's first match between Elisha Smith, Bar student and race equality activist and Paul Stanley QC, barrister at Essex Court Chambers.
This scheme will help senior members of the Bar to learn from the experiences of the younger mentors, helping them to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of racism thus helping Mentees embed anti racist attitudes into their work.
Speaking about her involvement as the Scheme’s first mentor, Elisha said “'Initiating a programme that brings together the concept of diversity in a tangible and practical way is something I never thought would be achievable. Seeing how receptive members of the Bar are to hearing and learning about anti-racist practices and achieving true diversity within the Bar gives me hope for a more inclusive environment.”
As the Scheme’s first mentee, Paul said “It is a privilege to be able to be involved in this ground-breaking initiative. Being mentored by Elisha gives me a golden opportunity to learn from her experience and insight, and to challenge my own preconceptions and prejudices. I know it will make me a better antiracist ally, and help me to change myself and the profession for the better.”
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