A DEDICATED local youth worker is in the running for a top national award after steering disaffected school pupils back on track.

Paul Ross, of Inverclyde Council, has been recognised for his work in supporting young people to build skills and learning.

He's been nominated for the National Raising Attainment Award at the national Youth Work Awards 2019.

Paul, who has been working at Inverclyde Academy for the last two years, has focused his energy on raising attendance and attainment among a targeted group of young people aged between 12 and 18.

He drew up a programme of learning opportunities for them which have boosted their enthusiasm.

School head teacher Denise Crawford says Paul has made a huge impact at the school.

She said: “The hard data speaks for itself.

"Exclusions are reduced, attendance is increased and engagement is off the scale.

"Pupils are now engaged in education right up to S6.

“We are closing the gap and a lot of this is down to Paul’s dedication.”

Paul is a member of the community learning and development team, who work to help individuals and groups in the community to achieve their life goals.

Tim Frew of YouthLink Scotland says Paul shows the positive influence that a youth worker can have on the lives of young people.

He said: “In every part of Scotland, every day, thousands of youth workers, many of them volunteers, are supporting young people to follow their dreams and realise their potential, and Paul is a great example of the positive impact youth work has.”

Paul will find out if he has won the prize at an awards dinner being held on March 13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.