Step Ladder of Achievement

This programme is run here in Cumbria through a partnership of Cumbria Youth Alliance and The Share Foundation and funded by the Frances C Scott Charitable Trust.  The pilot programme will begin in April 2017 and target 23 young people currently in the care system here in Cumbria

The Objective of the Step Ladder of Achievement

  • To inspire teenagers in care to take a number of significant steps to improve their literacy, numeracy and financial capability in order to be better placed to achieve their full potential as an adult.
  • To give teenagers in care the opportunity to earn and save by experience.
  • To raise additional funds to add to their Junior ISAs by rewarding them for attainment.

The Stepladder of Achievement programme will provide both life skills and financial resources in order to enhance the capability and prospects of children and young people in care, who are likely to have experienced an unpredictable education. Our aim is to break the cycle of deprivation by enabling these young people to look forward to a normal adult life, by helping them to reverse this instability and enhance their employability prospects. In addition each young person is allocated a local mentor who will help and support them through the programme. The Stepladder programme will take time to roll-out across the United Kingdom with Cumbria being one of the first places to use the programme

How it will work

In return for achieving recognised capability in six specific areas, additional payments of up to £1,500 will be added to the young person’s Junior ISA. These six steps will achieve readiness for adult life in terms of gaining employment and achieving full self-sufficiency.

The six steps are shown below with the amount that goes into the personal ISA when the module is complete

  1. Literacy – assessed by a For Skills functional test with provision of learning to improve performance broadly similar to grade C GCSE equivalent pass rate. (Benefit £150)
  2. Numeracy – assessed by a For Skills functional test with provision of learning to improve performance broadly similar to grade C GCSE equivalent pass rate. (Benefit £150)
  3. Financial Capability (1) – assessed by For Skills conversion of pfeg material with an additional end test. (Benefit £200)
  4. Plan for the Future – 250–500 words submitted and assessed by TSF as to the young person’s aspirations for the future and how they will use their investment – assessment will require the recruitment and retention of volunteers. (Benefit £250)
  5. Financial Capability (2) – Managing My Money, Share Radio’s broadcast version of the Open University Business School’s eight week course with recognised accreditation. (Benefit £350)
  6. Securing future education, employment or training – supported by mentoring from organisations such as the Children’s Society. (Benefit £400)

We will work with local partners Cumbria Youth Alliance to identify the most appropriate support and mentoring to work alongside the young people taking the Stepladder programme: Key to the success of the programme is its promotion to young people themselves, and we will work closely with Virtual School Heads, Foster Carers and Social Work teams within Cumbria County Council

For more information on the Ladder of Achievement and how it will work in Cumbria you can talk to Cath Clarke at Cumbria Youth Alliance.  Email cath@cya.org.uk or ring her on 01900 603131

To find out more about the scheme and the work of the Share Foundation https://sharefound.org

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