Coventry’s care leavers are aspiring and achieving more than ever before with massive increases in those going to university.
In the last year up to 40 Coventry care leavers have attended university compared with just 5 in 2014.
It follows a concerted effort from those working with children in care to ensure ambition and aspiration is encouraged.
Coventry’s Children’s Services works in partnership with the city’s two universities and Warwickshire County Council, to deliver a programme called University Go!
The programme works with looked after children who have achieved good Year 6 SATs results and those who have been identified as having the potential to go on to higher education.
Coventry’s work was hailed as a good example in a recent national Centre for Social Justice report which pledged to double the number of care leavers going to university by 2024. Read the report here https://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/library/12-by-24
Staff have worked with young people to address any concerns they might have about going to university and have also produced a series of short information films.
The Council’s Through Care team has also recently launched the local offer for care leavers which sets out the support looked after children can expect to receive as they enter the adult world.
It includes a call to local organisations to recognise the duty we all have to support looked after children and be prepared to support them with actions such as apprenticeships.
Cllr Pat Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “It is a fact that children in care will face more barriers to overcome in their young lives than others. But these are our children, and like any parent we want to do everything we can to support them.
“I’m delighted so many of our young people are achieving so much, whether it be going to university, other higher education or finding a job or apprenticeship. I want every young person entering care to know that the sky is the limit.”