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A brighter future

16 April 2008

The Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills, Jane Hutt has praised Cardiff University’s commitment to supporting students who have spent time in care.

Cardiff was the first university in Wales to receive the Frank Buttle Trust Quality Mark in recognition of its support for looked after children and people leaving care so they can progress into higher education.

People from care are one of the most under-represented groups in higher education. The UK Government white paper ‘Care Matters: Transforming the Lives of Children and Young People in Care’ records that just 6 per cent of British young people leaving care enter higher education, compared to almost 50 per cent of society as a whole.

A short film called "Marshmallow" about a care leaver's longing for a place of her own opened the event to mark the University’s commitment to supporting students who have spent time in care. The film shown was made as part the School of Social Sciences ‘Me, myself and I’ project.

Speaking at the event the Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills Jane Hutt said: "Cardiff University is at the forefront in encouraging care leavers to progress to higher education and it is wonderful to see that this has been recognised by the Frank Buttle Trust. It is vitally important that looked after children have the support and opportunities to give them the best possible chance in life."

Professor Teresa Rees, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research said "Cardiff has put in place a comprehensive set of measures designed to support those coming to us from a background in care.

The Quality Mark recognises the University’s firm commitment to provide support and encouragement for people from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain a university education."

A new information leaflet "Security for your future", produced by the University’s Widening Access and Student Support teams, aimed at young people in care was also launched at the event. The leaflet will be sent to all looked after children teams in local authorities in Wales and England.