29th April 2009, 11:25am
Lincoln goes that extra mile for care leavers
Janet Walker The needs of care leavers entering Higher Education have been recognised by the University of Lincoln as part of its widening participation work.

Led by the School of Health & Social Care, the University has been awarded the Frank Buttle Trust Quality Mark for its commitment to support this group of students. Nationally only one per cent of care leavers enter higher education, compared with 43 per cent of all young people.

The Quality Mark was launched by the Frank Buttle Trust in 2006 to “recognise institutions which go that extra mile to support students who have been in public care”, committing to aid their progression as they enter and proceed through the higher education system. Since the launch of the Quality Mark, awareness of the educational needs of this group has grown.

Janet Walker, Principal Lecturer in the School of Health & Social Care at the University of Lincoln, said: “Research has shown that the educational opportunities and achievements of children who leave the care system have been poor when compared to all children. There is still a significant gap between the fortunes of care leavers and other young people. Universities can play their part to make higher education more accessible to young people who have been in local authority care. This Quality Mark shows that the University of Lincoln is determined to do just that.”

Gerri McAndrew, Chief Executive of the Frank Buttle Trust said: “That universities are making a commitment to support care leavers to progress to and through the higher education system is an extremely positive step. Our aim is that all universities across the UK will make the developments necessary to show this commitment and be awarded the Quality Mark.”

The University of Lincoln exceeds national averages when it comes to widening participation among under-represented groups. Figures show 98 per cent of its full-time undergraduates proceed to the University from state schools or colleges and 18 per cent are from neighbourhoods with traditionally low levels of participation in Higher Education.

For more information about the Frank Buttle Trust Quality Mark, visit www.buttletrust.org/quality_mark or call 0207 828 7311.
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