Stepladder of Achievement

The Objective

·        To inspire teenagers in care to take a number of significant steps to improve their literacy, numeracy and financial capability in order to be better placed to achieve their full potential as an adult.

·        To give teenagers in care the opportunity to earn and save by experience (Stepladder Plus).

·        To raise additional funds to add to their Junior ISAs by rewarding them for attainment (Stepladder Plus).

The Stepladder of Achievement programme provides both life skills and financial resources in order to enhance the capability and prospects of children and young people in care, who are likely to have experienced an unpredictable education. Our aim is to break the cycle of deprivation by enabling these young people to look forward to a normal adult life, by helping them to reverse this instability and enhance their employability prospects.

The standard Stepladder programme is available in all local authorities across the United Kingdom. The pace of roll-out for Stepladder Plus depends primarily on securing voluntary funding for step payments and mentoring. Click here to see the latest news on roll-out.

How it works

The standard Stepladder programme has six steps designed to achieve readiness for adult life in terms of gaining employment and achieving full self-sufficiency. With Stepladder Plus, which is only available in specified local authorities, additional payments of up to £1,500 in total are added to the young person’s Junior ISA or Child Trust Fund in return for achieving each of the six steps. Please note that the step benefits in brackets (shown below) are only provided under the Stepladder Plus version.

The six steps are:

·        Literacy – assessed by a For Skills functional test with provision of learning to improve performance broadly similar to grade C GCSE equivalent pass rate. (Benefit £150)

·        Numeracy – assessed by a For Skills functional test with provision of learning to improve performance broadly similar to grade C GCSE equivalent pass rate. (Benefit £150)

·        Financial Capability (1) – assessed by For Skills conversion of pfeg material with an additional end test. (Benefit £200)

·        Plan for the Future – 250–500 words submitted and assessed by TSF as to the young person’s aspirations for the future and how they will use their investment – assessment will require the recruitment and retention of volunteers. (Benefit £250)

·        Financial Capability (2) – Managing My Money, Share Radio’s broadcast version of the Open University Business School’s eight week course with recognised accreditation. (Benefit £350)

·        Securing future education, employment or training – supported by mentoring from organisations such as the Children’s Society. (Benefit £400)

We work with Local Authorities to identify the most appropriate support and mentoring to work alongside the young people taking the Stepladder programme, and to secure local funding for implementation of Stepladder Plus. We also encourage those who have taken the programme to support and mentor those following on after them.

Key to the success of the programme is its promotion to young people themselves, and we work closely with Virtual School Heads, Foster Carers and Social Work teams within Local Authorities. 

Please click here to view Stepladder Progress Statistics to date.