This programme is brought to you by Winning Scotland Foundation

“On average, CiS directly delivers to approximately 4,000 young people each year

– or 130 groups and classes of 30 children”


“CiS has impacted more than 40,000 pupils since 2009”

Why CiS?

Groups Involved

  • Primary school
  • Secondary school
  • Clubs
  • Single gender
  • Disengaged/underachieving
  • Disadvantaged or ‘nurture’.

Challenges identified by participating groups prior to CiS;

  • Difficulties with resilience / fear of failure / lack of ambition
  • Poor academic attainment levels / underachieving at school / poor teacher relationships
  • Weight and diet issues / lack of physical activity
  • Offending in the community / bullying behaviour / anger management / self-harming
  • Absconding from school / walking out of classes / persistent lateness


What impact did teachers and group leaders find post CiS?

•           A change in dietary habits of pupils – opting for school lunches instead of fast food

•           Improved behaviour, attendance and attitude amongst groups of boys deemed to be disruptive and disengaged

•           Increased confidence and engagement from a group of girls described as ‘flatlining’ academically

Independent evaluation carried out by the University of Edinburgh over a five year period:

  • 90% of (400 surveyed) pupils learned to understand effort and commitment. 
  • 86.7% said they were more able to overcome challenges as a result of Champions in Schools, whether in sport or other aspects of life.

A pupil said: “Champions in Schools showed me that anything is possible if I work really hard.” 

A teacher said: ‘Pupils are more focused on long term outcomes and having to work hard despite setbacks towards achieving goals. It has given a number a real focus on what they want to achieve.’

2013-14 evaluation Retention study

72 pupils who had taken part in CiS more than 12 months prior to the survey;  

•           80% of these retention pupils learned and recalled that over-coming challenge is possible. 

•           Over 95% remembered the message of never giving up and working hard.  



These graphs show the scores for;

  • ambition
  • effort

calculated from the GRIT inventory from survey data collected from 400 pupils.

The GRIT survey (Duckworth 2007) is designed to measure passion and perseverance, evaluating a person’s ability to set goals, stay focused, overcome setbacks and keep going in the face of adversity.


Note: CIS refers to those who have taken part in the Champions in Schools programme

Non-CIS refers to those who have never taken part in the Champions in Schools programme

Case Studies

CiS & RAfA Case Study Summaries

Raising Attainment for All (RAfA) helps schools to identify innovative and collaborative ways in which to tackles attainment issues within their own settings. 

Case Study 1

Seven S2 boys were selected due to behaviour issues – some were unable to even stay a full day at school. Following three CiS sessions as part of a wider programme, this is their teachers’ feedback:

‘His manner in class has changed from being disruptive to being keener to do well and very polite.’

‘He had various good days in class when he was taking part in Champions in Schools programme.

‘He seems calmer and more focused. His behaviour has improved massively.’

‘I have seen some real improvements in the motivation and co-operation of several of the boys.’

‘Overall it was a worthwhile initiative and would be good for future pupils – not only badly behaved pupils but also for pupils with low self-esteem and lacking confidence. The workshops really focused on building the self-esteem of the pupils and helping them realise the positive qualities they have.’                                                           

‘What is noteworthy is that two of the main targets for the boys were: remain in classes and bring PE kit. During the programme the boys brought kit and issues in PE were minimal.’

Case Study 2

Ten S3 female pupils who were achieving in sport but had ‘flatlined’ academically, had very low confidence and a lack of resilience.  They were linked into CiS to support a challenge whereby the girls had to deliver a CPD session to 24 of their own teachers. 

With the Champion’s help, the girls designed a one-hour session involving team-building, challenging the adults on leadership, problem solving and adopting a growth mindset.  Teachers reported:

“I asked the girls to write a few comments down. When we told them what they were going to do it terrified them, didn't believe they could deliver or have the confidence to deliver. Now they have, it's given them confidence and they feel they want to do it again. This can be used in other areas. They said it was good to work with staff and let pupils build better relationships in the classroom and have more respect for each other – which will help teaching and learning.”

“They were ecstatic. Two [pupils] would like to teach in the future such is their boost in confidence.”

This HS now intend to run this event every year in their school.

Case Study 3

Our Champion was asked to work with a small group of boys demonstrating similar challenges to Case Study 1. Their teacher fed back as follows:

‘I was really impressed by the levels of engagement from boys who do not normally demonstrate a real interest and enthusiasm. They were very well behaved and this was essentially down to the fact that [Champion] had a really good manner with them and treated them with respect. When they were honest about their lifestyles, he was not critical but tried to open their eyes to other possibilities.

‘The boys stated that their favourite session was when they got to cook and eat fajitas. Many had not tried fajitas.  They said that they will no longer go to the Chinese each day for their lunch!

‘Many of the boys selected are poor attenders but they made a real effort to attend [Champions] sessions – this speaks volumes.  In addition, the number of behaviour referrals generated for some of the boys in the group has decreased. Many of the boys are much calmer than they used to be and this is obviously more conducive to them achieving at school.