University of Glasgow receives Quality Mark for care leavers in higher education

Published: 25 September 2007

The University of Glasgow has been recognised for its commitment to supporting students who have spent time in care

The University of Glasgow has been recognised for its commitment to supporting students who have spent time in care.

The Frank Buttle Trust, which provides grants and support to enable young people to undertake courses in further and higher education, has created a Quality Mark, endorsing institutions which go the extra mile to provide support to students who have been in local authority care.

Adam Ingram MSP supported the launch of the Quality Mark in Scotland  at a ceremony in Bute Hall, when the University was awarded the Quality Mark by  Gerri McAndrew Chief Executive of the Frank Buttle Trust.

Professor Andrea Nolan, Vice-Principal for Learning and Teaching said: “The University of Glasgow has a long and established tradition of ensuring that everybody who has the potential to benefit from higher education is given the opportunity to do so.Frank Buttle award

“It is an honour to receive the Frank Buttle Quality Mark as it recognises our commitment to encouraging people from a variety of backgrounds into higher education.

“The Government has placed widening participation high on every university’s agenda but at Glasgow this has always been a priority.

“Whether it is our ambitious schools programmes which seek to raise aspirations amongst pupils in schools with low participation rates in higher education or our initiatives aimed at supporting our students once they are here, Glasgow is continually striving to extend and develop widening participation opportunities for all.”

The problems faced by young people who have been in care can seriously hamper their ability to acquire educational qualifications or employment skills. Often the victims of domestic violence or estranged from their families, these young people may find it impossible to consider going to university without the emotional and financial support that is normally provided by families.

To be awarded the Quality Mark, the University of Glasgow has demonstrated that it provides comprehensive support for such students. The Quality Mark shows that the University has raised aspirations and achievements, ensured that admissions procedures for care leavers are appropriate and has provided entry and ongoing support for students.

To receive recognition under the scheme, higher education providers apply to the Trust for registration, demonstrating how their commitment to care leavers is embedded in their strategic policy framework, and how the scheme will be implemented and monitored.

Gerri McAndrew, Chief Executive of the Frank Buttle Trust, said: “It is great that these universities have set out their commitment to helping care leavers go on and further their education. Higher education can often seem out of reach for those leaving care but that needn’t be the case.

“With the launch of our Quality Mark in Scotland I hope we will encourage more universities to recognise the challenges faced by young people who have been in care and give vital extra support.

“I greatly appreciate the commitment we have had in developing our Commitment to care leavers from universities, higher education providers and other professional agencies.”

The University of Strathclyde and the University of Abertay also received the Quality Mark at the ceremony.

In the course of providing support for young people attending university who had been in local authority care, the Frank Buttle Trust became aware that the challenges they face are radically different to those faced by the vast majority of students. As a result, the charity developed the Quality Mark to badge institutions which have made a commitment to supporting the needs of students been in local authority care.

The Frank Buttle Trust is the largest UK charity providing grants solely to individual children and young people in need and in the last financial year, made 8,785 grants, totalling £2.7 million, across the UK.

First published: 25 September 2007