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How Scran is closing the Education Attainment Gap - New published Referral Materials

“Hello, I am 16 and I have just secured my first ever full-time job! I joined Scran about a year ago and I wasn’t sure at first. It was different and out of my comfort zone, but it was good for me. Scran helped me to do so many different things and gave me a chance to work hard. I’ve not always been an angel, but Scran gave me the chance to overcome my issues and prove myself.” ‘Anthony' (Scran Academy Graduate).

Anthony shared his story with over 200 people at our second birthday event in 2019. Needless to say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room and his story is a powerful reminder of why the work of informal education providers is so important. Young people like Anthony are often failed by the education system, not that this is intentional, but is the product of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to education that rarely meets the needs of some young people. As we launch their new 2021/22 Academy Programme, let’s take a moment to reflect on the impact that Scran Academy has had on young people like Anthony since 2017.

The last year has not been easy for young people across the country. Multiple lockdowns, a widening attainment gap between the wealthiest and least wealthy pupils, and high levels of youth unemployment compound existing barriers born from socio-economic inequity. There are an estimated 30,000 young people in Scotland not in education, training or employment and over 60% face significant and multiple barriers to finding work. Recent Scottish Government priorities highlight the need for tailored and intensive support for young people and recommend a greater focus on life skills within education. At Scran Academy, we wholeheartedly believe in the power of a relational and strengths-based approach to education. For some young people, education feels irrelevant with no practical application, or in some cases is the main barrier in itself due to wider traumas or challenges. These are just some reasons why our vocational, relational and experiential model is so powerful. We are on a mission to prove that young people who are seen as “destined” to fail can thrive given the right opportunities. Let’s stop asking young people ‘how good are you?’ and start asking ‘how are you good?’.

That’s what our Academy programme does. It is a highly bespoke experiential education programme dedicated to supporting young people who are not flourishing in mainstream school. Our inclusive and community-based approach helps nurture the confidence, skills, experiences and relationships needed to thrive in learning, earning and wider life. Ultimately, we aim to close the poverty-related attainment gap by building on young people’s strengths as they lead our social enterprise. Our work sits alongside many policy priority areas, not least the recent Edinburgh Poverty Commission report, Locality Improvement Plans, and citywide Pupil Equity Framework ambitions. However, governmental policies and priorities are not the limit of our aspirations.

Scran Academy was founded by and still led by people from the very communities that are so often judged, condemned and ignored by mainstream Scottish systems. We not only challenge the deeply held notion that young people from certain areas are destined to fail but act as an example of how young people can drive their own change. People like Anthony, who 18 months later is still employed and building his future. He later said “A year ago, I wasn’t thinking about my future, but now I can.”, and this is what we want for all of our young people. We believe in them and will give them the experiences, love, trust, confidence and structure they need to realise their own strengths, skills and assets.

Scran Academy is based on strong local partnerships with referrers, namely High Schools, Social Work and others. Together we can all collaborate to ensure those young people who have faced so much or simply learn differently, get an equal chance to thrive.

Want to find out more?

  • Read our Academy Programme Outline document

  • Drop us an email at

  • Give us a call on 07496 850591 to talk to a member of the team

Academy Programme Outline
Download PDF • 14.78MB

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