A scheme providing mentoring for more than 600 disadvantaged pupils in Glasgow is being credited with "incredible" results in closing the attainment gap.

The MCR Pathways project, which works primarily with children who have been in care and young people from other disadvantaged backgrounds has published a 2017 Impact Report which shows support from volunteer mentors has a dramatic effect on the prospects of those taking part.

In one school, St Andrew’s Secondary, 100 per cent of pupils taking part went on to university, college, or a job, in contrast to 31 per cent before the scheme began.

Overall, whereas 48 per cent of pupils who had been in care went on to positive destinations – work, education or training – before mentoring was introduced three years ago, now 81 per cent of those pupils do.

Glasgow City Council's Executive Director of Education Maureen McKenna said: “Quite simply – working with MCR Pathways has had an incredible impact “This is great news for our young people, the city and its organisations, our school staff and of course the mentors.”

MCR Pathways is currently operating in 15 Glasgow secondary schools and working with the council is now set to expand into the remaining 15. However it needs to recruit enough mentors to support 1500 young people, if the partnership with the council is to reach every looked after child and disadvantaged young person across the city.

Apart from improving outcomes on leaving school, the project is credited with helping pupils achieve better results in numeracy and literacy, while more are opting to stay on at school for longer.

Iain MacRitchie, Founder of MCR Pathways, said "We are very determined to bridge the talent of all our young people with the many opportunities our great city has to offer. MCR mentoring is the bridge”

He said "bold plans" were also under discussion to extend the scheme to Aberdeen and Dundee.

Businesses are being encouraged to support employees to take part as mentors and Glasgow City Council has a target of engaging 10 per cent of council employees to participate as mentors or as part of the talent taster work experience programme.

Mr MacRitchie said: People really do make Glasgow and the commitment from individuals is inspired and inspiring. An increasing number of Glasgow’s organisations are signing up to encourage and support their staff to mentor as part of their working week.

“When one mentors, two lives are changed. Organisations are also benefitting hugely with staff skills being enriched and developed in profound ways.

Stephanie McQuillan, 19, is just going into her second year of a degree in Psychology and History at University of Dundee, Stephanie hopes to join the civil service.

She is the first person from her family to go to university: "I was told that people like me [don’t]," she says. "I’m from a very low-income home and My mentor actually gave me the encouragement I needed to go to uni.”

When she was paired with her mentor, retired university lecturer Douglas Forbes, three years ago, she suffered from anxiety and low self esteem.

“He was a very calming influence and was a good balance against my extremely erratic behaviour and mannerisms. Having a mentor helped make me more decisive," she says. "I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t had a mentor. I know what I’m doing with my life, I know what I want to achieve in my life and I’m on my way to achieving that."

Stephanie and Douglas bonded quickly over an enthusiasm for politics and debate and their weekly meetings would involve discussions on philosophy, religion, history and even the various theories of the universe.

"He is a very idealistic person, very politically-orientated and into environment issues and health. I found him quite inspiring," she says.

As well as her university course, Stephanie followed up her enthusiasm for politics, being elected as a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for Glasgow Provan two years ago.