Good Practice

In this section, you’ll find recent examples of partnership working that is making a positive difference to young people’s experience of education across Scotland – and improving attainment as a result.

Youth work offers learning experiences that nurture learner engagement, improve social and emotional health and wellbeing, and enable skills development. Targeted programmes tackle literacy, numeracy and employability and create opportunities for young people to step up to leadership roles and make change happen in their schools and in their communities.


Youth Work and Volunteering

In 2023-24 a group of youth work practitioners and young people from a range of youth work settings across Scotland worked collaboratively to articulate the value and impact of a youth work approach to volunteering. We particularly focused on the volunteering experiences of young people affected by poverty, because research suggests they are traditionally less likely to access these opportunities .

Summary of Findings

You’ll find a short overview document here, summarising the hallmarks and impact of a youth work approach to volunteering.  You will also find and a selection of stories from young people about their journeys in volunteering here.

Natural Leaders Pilot Programme

Natural Leaders is a youth-led approach to Learning for Sustainability that is being piloted by youth work teams in North Lanarkshire, Perth and Kinross and West Lothian, offering enhanced support for primary to secondary transitions.  Young people tell us they are building skills and relationships that support their wellbeing and learning. Feedback from schools affirms that the programme has had a positive impact on young people’s confidence, skills and learning engagement.

Youth Work Education Recovery Fund

The Youth Work Education Recovery Fund was established to enable the sector to engage young people in some of the country’s most vulnerable communities and support their educational, social and emotional recovery in the wake of the pandemic.

Projects were awarded funding across all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities and were designed to support effective partnership working between youth work organisations (statutory and third sector) and formal education. Many projects also included elements of outdoor learning and creative arts.

As a result of the fund:

Impact Report

Find out more about the impact the Youth Work Education Recovery had on young people in our full report.

Boys with bikes in Govanhill

Outdoor Education Recovery Fund

Over 8,500 young people benefited from the Outdoor Education Recovery Fund, with 12,000 hours of outdoor learning experiences provided across Scotland. 

The fund was launched in 2021 by the Scottish Government to widen access to outdoor learning and offer vital support for Scotland’s education recovery. 

As a result of the fund:

Impact Report

Find out more about the impact the Outdoor Education Recovery Fund had on young people in our full report.

Girl in river

National Case Study Evaluation

YouthLink Scotland’s National Case Study evaluation encompassed examples of youth work from across Scotland, involving 3000 young people.

Impact Report

Find out more about the national case study evaluation in our full report.

National Case Study evaluation 2020 logo

Case Studies from the West Region

YouthLink Scotland worked with the West Partnership Regional Improvement Collaborative in 2022 to facilitate a practitioner enquiry involving youth workers and formal educators from seven youth work and schools partnerships across the West region.  More on the enquiry can be found here.  Case studies focused on each participating youth work and school partnerships are below.

Health and Wellbeing Case Studies

Literacy and Numeracy Case Studies

Learner Engagement Case Studies

For more case studies, please visit our Resource Library.