In recent years, politicians and commentators have argued for the importance of raising aspirations of young people from BAME (black, asian and minority ethnic) communities in general and Muslim communities in particular.
Research shows that low aspirations are related to poor academic attainment and professional achievement, regardless of social or ethnic group. Low aspirations can also feed into a general sense of isolation and exclusion from mainstream British life.
Despite this, what actually works and what factors are important remain little understood in aspiration-raising programmes, even within mentoring programmes.
Mosaic, which now provides mentoring programmes in over 50 schools across the UK, has commissioned the leading think-tank Demos to undertake a major evaluation of its programmes to produce a firm evidence base about what works and to set out practical recommendations and direction for project delivery and broader social policy.
Launched at an event hosted by The City Circle, Mosaic today publishes the first results of Mosaic’s new research programme – a literature review drawing together all relevant research on the relationship between aspirations and socio-economic achievement and attainment and emerging evidence on the success of mentoring and aspiration-raising programmes.
This important review argues for the importance for mentoring programmes to focus on helping young people to develop their ‘soft skills’ (personality traits, social graces, communication, language, etc), to provide information about how students can realise their ambitions and to develop social capital which can bridge into other professions and opportunities.
The literature review can be found as a downloadable document at the bottom of this page link.