A step in the right direction

25th March 2016 at 00:00

First minister Nicola Sturgeon’s pledge to guarantee young people who have spent time in care a place at university and a full bursary, currently £7,625 from 2017-18, is a monumental step in the right direction.

Currently, students who have a background in care are six times less likely to enter higher education than those who do not. This is because they experience significant barriers to entry, such as financial and economic challenges, cultural barriers, and a lack of awareness and knowledge of pathways.

This extra targeted help for those who need it most will go some way to closing the attainment gap between those who are care experienced and those who are not. We must continue along this path and ensure that care-experienced people are treated as equal members of our society and that their life prospects do not suffer simply because they have spent time in care.

The call from the first minister comes on the back of Kezia Dugdale’s welcome pledge that the Labour Party, too, will provide greater support to young people in care entering higher education. In the run-up to May’s Scottish Parliament elections, we urge all party leaders and candidates to recognise the need to do more to help our care-experienced population.

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition

Short and tweet

Twitter users discuss the Bookbug Annual Conference: #BookbugConf

A love of reading is an important factor in escaping poverty, it enables and empowers children throughout their lives.

@Bookbug_SBT

@neilmathers: If we are really going to tackle the attainment gap we need to look beyond the school gates.

@AminaTShah

By age 5 some children living in poverty know 4,000 fewer words than their peers = 18-month attainment gap.

@DeliciousDee

Scots is a great hook for boys in literacy engagement. It could be a great way of bringing in dads, too.

@Bookbug_SBT

My favourite Scots word is “scunnered”. @kat_luc01 is right – to get that meaning in English, I’d need a paragraph.

@knitaholicTracy

Good advice from @kat_luc01 to finish her talk on Scots: “If yer still a wee bit feart, just lowp in. Gie it laldie!”

@catrionaSBT

twitter.com/tesscotland

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