Start Here: The Attainment Gap

Closing the attainment gap in Scottish schools is a high priority for all. A central strategy must be supporting children from disadvantaged backgrounds, those more likely to be unsuccessful at school. That assistance must include access to learning the skills that provide lifelong stability. Is a child not more likely to engage if they see a tangible benefit to their learning?

A child living in poverty who learns how to manage money and avoid debt will feel more in control of their life. Place that learning in a group of their peers from different socio-economic backgrounds, and the child will reap the rewards.

Disadvantaged children benefit from good-quality programmes, especially where these include a mixture of children from different social backgrounds, and a strong educational component.

The Endowment Education Foundation (EEF) (2016)

How Life Skills Training Helps

Many school students have told me they want to learn skills not taught in school. They need these skills to be independent, like how to budget or cook.

These skills are more challenging than perhaps expected, especially if not taught at home. I want young people to feel confident when moving into the adult world. Preparing4Life was founded to make that happen.

Practical, fun, group workshops on relevant skills chosen by young people themselves. Ideal for schools to train their students in the basic abilities every young person needs. Mastery of these skills then builds confidence, which can lead to further success in other areas.

About me

Iā€™m Dr. Mary McPhail. I want to give our young people their best start in life by teaching them the skills they need. For over 20 years I have worked in education. Hundreds of my students have successfully passed exams and gone on to higher or further education. I have always prided myself on having a real rapport with my students and listening to their concerns.

My passion for learning has gained me two degrees in biochemistry. These allowed me to work as a research scientist in both California and the U.K. My greatest enjoyment, however, was always when I was teaching undergraduates or Ph.D students. This encouraged me to move into secondary school teaching in the state sector. There I gained my PGCE in chemistry, biology and science. Teaching has been a marvellous experience and has allowed me to continually learn. My aim has always been to use that learning to improve the education of my students.

As I have a keen interest in body language and psychology, I am fascinated by the effect of social interaction on learning. Furthermore, I have a Mentoring Module from the University of Aberdeen and am a trainer in Mentoring Violence Prevention. I also hold memberships in the GTCS and AGCC.


Prefer to see me in action?

Watch the following video if you’d like to hear me tell you about Preparing4Life. You’ll also get a taste of one of our workshops:

Dr. Mary McPhail