I believe that Mindset in education is everything. The mindset of the teaching staff, senior management team, head and deputy head teachers, parents, and most importantly pupils is key to meeting the needs of the modern world through education.
After leaving High School with very little in the way of qualifications I went from one poorly paid job to another, until I stumbled upon youth work as a volunteer then as a paid member of staff. I was encouraged and motivated with support from my wife, family and friends to study at University as a (very unlikly) mature student to go and study community education. Where I learned what it was to be a learner again, where I gained my passion for learning and growth while I was also having to motivate myself and coach myself through each assessment, essay, presentation and class.
Soon after graduation I had the opportunity to work with lots of young people from all walks of like to help coach them into employment, education or training. Where I was able to gain mentorship from some excellent educators and senior staff.
While in my position as a Project Manager I am a mentor for young people who were at a crossroads in their education, about to make decisions on what to do next, should they leave school as soon as they can and get a job, or stick in and try to achieve qualifications to help them get the job they actually deep down want to do. In the ‘world of work’ sessions I helped young people explore their options, do mock interviews, hear what employers are looking for, explore the types of jobs that are on the job market as well as potential ‘jobs of the future’ and the skills that may transfer from one sector to another.
Now I can help teachers and senior management within schools, local authorities and governments to look at holistic approaches to education as well as work one-to-one and in small groups with young people 16 plus to change their mindset around learning and life.
After leaving school with few questions and a mix of great memories with friends and bad ones about education it took me a long time to get beyond my lack of academic attainment and very limiting self-belief.
I left School feeling lost, had some pretty bad experiences in Primary School that continued to manifest themselves into my adulthood and secondary was a series of laughable (only on looking back) experiences and outcomes.
I only wish that the ones who struggled in school had the opportunity to learn about our ability to do very well even if we don’t make it into further education straight from school, how there are pretty successful people out there who have worked hard, but were not grade A students in all subjects, how no matter where you come from you can have a great career, life and family in the future with hard work and resourcefulness.
The Scottish Government recognise the need for substantial support beyond academic achievement and have given Secondary Schools the decision making powers to help close the attainment gap between children of all social economic backgrounds. This is the start of something great!
With over 19 years’ experience in delivering and developing work for young people and young adults within formal and informal settings, combined with my expertise in the 'world of work', coaching and group work I can help develop programmes across the School to engage pupils, staff and parents to achieve more equal outcomes across the board.
Get in touch if you want to develop a programme that could help reduce the equality gap! This could be to help staff, pupils and families.