It's National Care Leavers Week: 22-26 October
The University is currently working towards obtaining a Quality Mark for our care leaver provision from Buttle UK. The Widening Participation Office is co-ordinating the University’s application for the Quality Mark which involves Faculties, Academic and Support Departments and the Students’ Union.
Buttle UK is the named after Frank Buttle who set up a trust fund in 1953 to help children and young people in need across the UK. The Quality Mark is awarded to higher education providers who demonstrate their commitment to young people in and leaving care. It recognises the important work which university’s do to encourage care leavers to go on to higher education and the on-going support which is available to them throughout their studies.
According to the latest official figures from the Department for Education, there were 67,050
looked after children as at 31 March 2012 with 7% of care leavers aged 19 in Higher Education
(6,610). Although this is a much lower proportion than the general population, their achievement is
all the more remarkable given that these students usually come from unstable backgrounds and many
have had interrupted studies due to family circumstances. These difficulties were highlighted in
2004 research project.
Nicola Peacock, Student Services said ‘Students with care leaving backgrounds seeking a place in higher education face a very different set of challenges from the vast majority of students. The University has always sought to support these students by helping them to access government grants and find suitable accommodation and perhaps, more importantly, helping them make a smooth transition and to fit into the academic environment. We recognise their special status can make a difference to the student cohort and we are able to identify and therefore support these students more readily, especially since UCAS introduced its optional tick box on application forms'.
Annette Hayton (Head of WPO) said ‘We are working towards attaining the Quality Mark as this will provide tangible evidence of the University’s commitment to these students and what better time to highlight our work than National Care Leavers Week.’
The Widening Participation Office aims to share the outcome of our submission before the end of this year.
For further information please email
Iryna Withington in the Widening Participation Office on