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Columba 1400 programme has improved prospects for some young care leavers

At least 60 per cent of care leavers who participated in a Columba 1400 programme for young people from “tough realities” went into education, employment or training, a new report has found.

The figure compares with national statistics showing that 37 per cent of young care leavers were in Eet (education, employment and training) last year. Some 78 per cent of the participants moved to or sustained positive and stable living environments, the evaluation of the Columba 1400 care leaver programme said.

Columba 1400, based at Staffin on the Isle of Skye and founded by Rev Norman Drummond, offers parallel leadership programmes for headteachers, teachers and pupils.

The study, which tracked 317 leavers from four participating local authorities, compared their views, experiences and outcomes with those from two non-participating authorities.

It found the young care leavers (YCLs) in the programme benefited in a number of ways. “Most could point to areas of ‘self-improvement’ which they felt had helped, or would help in the future, with their Eet and independent living status.

Participants who had a history of mental illness, offending behaviour, or drug/drink dependency did not appear to have less success graduating from C1400 than their peers.

Full story at Times Educational Supplement Scotland.

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