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Confidence key to attainment

The Christie Commission challenged public sector service providers to deliver results and savings by listening to the needs of individual communities and responding to business needs.

As last week's University and College Union (UCU) report on educational attainment indicated, we need a quick focus on making education services respond to that challenge.

Glasgow City Council is acutely aware of the on-going problem in some of its communities and has quite correctly been investing heavily to try to equalise attainment across the city. Yet the fact that deep-seated problems persist is a sign that parts of the city need support to look beyond traditional methods of education delivery if young people are to reach their full potential.

Too often young people's educational success is limited by background. Educational provision must take account of the differing abilities, learning styles and life circumstances of young people if we are to break cycles of low aspiration and deprivation.

The key is confidence. Three in four young people on Prince's Trust Scotland programmes move into education, training or employment because we help them gain the skills and confidence to cope with - and thrive in - full-time training or employment.

With Professor Russel Griggs about to embark on a comprehensive review of post-16 education (TESS, 22 July), there has never been a better time to examine how we can undertake fundamental reform to ensure our young people have the confidence to succeed once they start learning.

Gerard Eadie, chairman, The Prince's Trust Scotland, Glasgow.

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