Youth Work and the Scottish Attainment Challenge

Youth work helps to deliver Curriculum for Excellence and has an important role to play in tackling the poverty-related attainment gap in Scotland.

Programme Focus

YouthLink Scotland’s Youth Work and Schools Partnership programme, one of the Scottish Attainment Challenge national programmes, works closely with Scottish Government and other SAC partners to promote and develop the role of youth work in closing the poverty related attainment gap.  We do this by sharing good practice, supporting practice development and helping to gather evidence of the impact of youth work on attainment.

Pupil Equity Funding

The resources in this section are intended to assist headteachers in using Pupil Equity Funding (PEF) by providing examples of PEF-funded youth work and school partnerships that have very effectively improved educational outcomes for young people. You can navigate to relevant case studies from the infographic below.   You will also find more great examples of the impact of youth work on attainment here.

Improving Outcomes Through Partnership

Iain Livingstone Head Teacher, Braes High School and Gordon Baxter, CLD Team Leader reflect with young people on the difference that their PEF-funded partnership makes on educational outcomes for young people.

The Power of Relationships

Youth work and school partners and young people at Newbattle High School  highlight the difference that having access to PEF-funded youth work support can make to learner engagement and attainment.

 “Alongside schools, youth work improves the wellbeing, readiness to learn and educational outcomes of children and young people.”

Pupil Equity Fund: National Operational Guidance, Scottish Government 2022

Recent Publications

Impact of Youth Work

Launched in September 2020, the Youth Work Education Recovery Fund provided more than 49,000 hours of activity for almost 18,000 young people across Scotland.

The Fund was targeted at communities and young people who needed the most support to offset the damage of Covid-19, and brought Government spending in the youth work sector in 2020 over the £12.5 million mark.

A total of 64 awards were made to organisations across Scotland working with young people impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, providing invaluable opportunities for young people to engage with youth work activities that would build their confidence and skills; support their health and well-being; and that address the poverty-related attainment gap.

"Youth workers have skills - and huge insight from the relationships they build with young people in communities - to help engage young people in learning."


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Please don't hesitate to get in touch for more information, advice or practical support in your setting.