Working with Glasgow City Council we have identified senior pupils from LAAC backgrounds across four of our partner schools, and we implement targeted support for pupils so that they feel prepared to make the transition to higher education, whether to GCU, another university or to HN study at college in the form of a weekly mentoring programme.
Building on our Buttle UK achievements and the supporting infrastructure which the University has put in place, GCU established an outreach initiative targeted at young people from a looked after and care (LAAC) background.
Our approach has a number of key strands: -A mentoring programme which includes activities to help S5 and S6 pupils with researching and planning for their future academic and career options. -A dedicated team of staff and trained GCU student mentors representing a wide variety of academic subjects will work closely with senior pupils, engaging through in‐ school and on‐campus activities as well as email and text communications. -A working partnership with pupils’ programme coordinators to offer additional complementary support, for example participation in scheduled visits to the University. -We are also linking with MCR pathways to organise a range of activities for 20 S3 and S4 pupils who are part of their programme and are possible HE entrants. -Further to this tailored support we plan to work closely with Glasgow City Council, schools and partner colleges to offer additional opportunities which students from a LAAC background can elect into. This can involve, for example, advice and support on applications and interviews. -An agreement with Skills Development Scotland will allow us to track post school destinations, and our GCU Buttle Group will monitor and evaluate our work with this group and others to inform future developments. We anticipate that our LAAC outreach initiative will encourage more students to consider progressing to higher education and to self‐identify as care leavers through UCAS. We will continue to develop our regional links and share good practice via mechanisms including ‘Who Cares Scotland’, the West of Scotland Care Leavers’ Forum and the Scottish Universities Lifelong Learning Higher Education Group.
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