The percentage of pupils on free school meals achieving
5 A*-C GCSEs in 2010 was just 35%, which placed Somerset
156th out of 157 local authority areas in the country.
The Raising Aspirations programme has been designed by Somerset Community Foundation to address this issue through a mentoring scheme, grant making and by bringing together people to develop further ideas and mobilise resources.
Click here to download a copy of the Raising Aspirations programme outline.
"Sometimes I want to give up on something and my [mentor] says don't give up, try your hardest, because whatever you want to be in life you can be if you try." (Year 7 pupil, Crispin School)
Over the past 2 years, Somerset Community Foundation, in partnership with Crispin School in Street, has been piloting a programme to raise the aspirations and attainment of young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
80 volunteers from local businesses and the wider community around Street are giving a couple of hours of their time each month to mentor pupils from Year 7 through to GCSE.
"I have learned the importance of giving back by sharing my career path experiences with my mentee. Whatever he aspires to be in the future, I would like to help guide him there." (Volunteer mentor)
We are working with researchers from the University of East London to evaluate the impact of the programme. To read the latest report, click here.
"The innovative mentoring programme at Crispin School gives children the opportunity to meet with local people on a regular basis. They are encouraged to aspire to be the best they can possibly be, to look to new horizonsand build a bright future full of potential for themselves.’"( Fran Thomson, Leader of Pupil Participation at Crispin School)
e-mail Jocelyn for more information