School Champions are a vital element in the delivery of The Mark Scott Leadership For Life Award. They are volunteers who are usually teachers within the partner schools. Their role is to facilitate the recruitment of prospective sixth year pupils for The Award and to promote The Award within the schools even before the Outward Bound team come to the school to present the programme.

As well as facilitating the Leadership For Life Award presentation, the School Champions encourage and support pupils who would benefit from The Award to apply. Not all of the pupils who would benefit most have the confidence or even the inclination to take part. School Champions can provide reassurance and address any issues pupils may have.

Throughout the duration of The Award, School Champions should offer advice and encouragement, especially during the 2nd phase of The Award, when the community projects need to be planned and delivered. Outward Bound Project Coordinators will work together with School Champions to assist the various teams in delivering successful projects and get the most out of The Award.

For more information, please see this document:

Award delivery outline for School Champions (pdf)

Below is an executive summary of The Award, suitable for members of senior leadership teams in schools:

The Mark Scott Leadership for Life Award is a personal development programme for young people in the 6th year in the Central Belt of Scotland. It was set up following the tragic sectarian murder of Mark Scott, a Glasgow teenager, and has been running for 18 years. In that time over 2400 young people from more than 70 schools have taken part.

The Award aims to increase community cohesion. The Award also aims for participants to:

  • Become more confident individuals, and develop the skills for independent learning
  • Develop teamwork and project management skills and an awareness of how to lead others
  • Develop awareness of, and show greater respect for others from different backgrounds
  • Develop a sense of social responsibility by delivering projects that benefit their local community and have a positive impact on their community

The programme begins with a 5-day training course at one of The Outward Bound Trust’s residential centres. Working with others from nearby schools, participants undertake a series of adventurous challenges including an overnight expedition, and receive training in teamworking and leadership, project management, and presentation skills.

Once back home, participants have weekly meetings in their groups to generate and implement a 3-day community project. Around six weeks after the residential course, participants attend an evening Project Forum where they present their progress to date and perform a short entertainment. Midway through the programme, participants attend a Refresh Day, which involves a half-day of adventurous activity and a half-day of targeted work supporting the team’s project management and personal development needs.

The programme is fully funded by sources including the Scottish Government and so there are no course fees to pay. The only costs to participants are a £20 administration fee and local travel costs associated with attending community project meetings. Participants are supported by a Project Coordinator, who delivers the residential course, attends project group meetings and other events, and supervises the delivery of the community project.

Participants will need time out of school for:

  • The Residential course (5 days)
  • Meetings with project agencies during office hours
  • The Refresh Day (1 day)
  • Community project delivery days – only if necessary/permitted (up to 3 days equivalent)

Beyond attendance on the residential course, pupils must ask for permission to have time from school and cannot assume it exists.

Participants and their parents contract directly with The Outward Bound Trust. We ask our supporting schools to designate a School Champion – a member of staff who the Project Coordinator can liaise with over promoting the Award to potential applicants, and who can act as a point of contact within the school for participants.

Recruitment onto the Award is done by application, usually following a presentation to S5 students from the Project Coordinator. The main phase of recruitment is done between January and March with additional recruitment happening over the summer before the programme begins in the autumn.


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