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Johnstone High School have been celebrating the work they are doing to support young people get into positive destinations.

A group of young people, including those who are care experienced, showed MSP Natalie Don, Minister for Children and Young People and Keeping The Promise, how their school prepares them for their future.

Currently, 99 per cent of pupils at Johnstone High go into positive destinations, yet national statistics show that care-experienced young people need more support to ensure they find a pathway that is right for them.

The school has been praised for its work to promote vocational and academic pathways equally, gaining a Gold award from the Scottish Curriculum and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) earlier this year; the fourth school in Scotland to achieve this. This is supported by a pupil-led employability working group who champion the range of pathways and change the perceptions their peers may have about which pathway is for them.

40 per cent of senior pupils in Johnstone High School study at least one course that doesn’t include an exam, and in a recent careers event, local and national employers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths visited the school to talk about careers in their organisations.

There is also a dedicated principal teacher who works with care-experienced young people to help them get the support they need ahead of leaving school. This ranges from intensive careers advice to help young people find the right career path for them as well as practical life skills, such as how to open a bank account and applying for grants for a first flat.

The minister spoke to three care-experienced young people who have plans for where they see themselves going after they leave school. They are each looking at various pathways, such as employment, training and university.

One pupil said: “I’m ambitious for my future. I’m going to apply for a seven-day taster experience at Harvard University.”

Children and Young People Minister Natalie Don enjoyed meeting the young people and hearing their ambitions. She said: “It was extremely positive to speak to a number of pupils, both past and present, to hear about the opportunities that this support has provided and equally, how much it was appreciated. I wish all the pupils good luck in their studies and future careers.”

Renfrewshire Council’s Promise manager, Maurice Gilligan, added: “I was delighted to attend the pupil led sessions. The principles of The Promise made to all children in Renfrewshire is very much evident here at Johnstone High School. The school is very ambitious for all pupils and its focused activity with pupils who are Care Experienced is further testament to this.”