Glasgow's most deprived spurred on to HE access

10th May 2013 at 01:00
Extra support for the city's poorest will help them take up university places

Children from poor homes across Glasgow are to receive extra support from university access schemes in a bid to get more of them to take up places in higher education.

Glasgow City Council is to make widening access programmes available to every pupil from a deprived background, even if they attend a school in a more affluent area. Current schemes are often offered only in schools in poor areas.

The council is planning to put a framework in place to offer information to heads and guidance teachers so that they can point children in the right direction.

The authority will also work with universities, including the University of Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of the West of Scotland, as well as its college partners, to ensure existing programmes are extended and places made available to more young people.

"Every school has those young people," said Jim Wilson, head of service at Glasgow City Council, so the council and its partners are looking to "stretch (the existing support) to cover everyone".

The local authority aims to have the formal framework in place for August. This will also include more details on its wider strategy on widening access.

"We are trying to join the dots," Mr Wilson said. "For each of the higher education institutions, what we will be able to do is show what provision they have."

NUS Scotland has welcomed the moves. "It's great to see councils, schools and universities working in partnership to develop a framework that could potentially increase fair access," said Robin Parker, president of NUS Scotland.

"Supporting children from disadvantaged communities in every school in Glasgow will ideally help teachers to ensure their students receive the targeted support needed to apply to and enrol in universities."

julia.belgutay@tess.co.uk.

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