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Buttle UK

Comedian Hugh Dennis; Gerri McAndrew, CEO of Buttle UK; Jo Gilbey, head of charity tax at BDO; Karen Melton, case manager, Buttle UK; Stephen Mangan, host

Boosting support to care leavers entering high education

Buttle UK has successfully improved the support available to children in care who enter higher education, after it found care leavers made up a significant proportion of the recipients of its grants programme aimed at young people attending university or training.

As a result of its work, the number of care leavers in higher education has risen from 1 per cent to 7 per cent in five years. And the Trust has been able to reduce the percentage of grants distributed to care leavers from 12 per cent in 2006/7 to 5 per cent in 2010/11.

It achieved this by gathering evidence that demonstrated that local authorities were not meeting their statutory obligation to provide financial and personal support up to the age of 24 for young people formerly in care, who are in full-time education.

It also conducted research with universities to understand the experiences of care leavers trying to access or stay in higher education. The research led to the creation of the Higher Education Commitment to Care Leavers which awards a Quality Mark to universities which follow a set of commitments for students entering from care. So far, 86 universities in the UK have been given the Quality Mark award. Of those awarded a Quality Mark in 2009/10, 96 per cent were offering 365-day accommodation for care leavers and 63 per cent offered some kind of financial assistance to them.

Further, 87 per cent of universities with the Quality Mark established formal links with local authorities through social services or Children’s Trusts in 2009.

Buttle UK has also been successful in strengthening the guidance produced by government for local authorities on supporting children leaving care.

Buttle UKMr Richard Barron
Director of fundraising and marketing
Buttle UK
Audley House, 13 Palace Road
London, SW1E 5HX
Tel: 020 7798 6226
richardb@buttleuk.org
Reg. charity no: 313007

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