Helping young people in and out of care

Buckinghamshire New University has won the Buttle UK Higher Education Quality Mark for helping young people in and leaving care

Created by Buttle UK, the largest grant-giving organisation in the country directly supporting children and families living in poverty, the charity awards the Quality Mark to colleges and universities which commit to support a young person who has been in care with accessing further and higher education and successfully completing their studies.  

The challenges facing young people leaving care are enormous, and they are one of the most under-represented groups in education in the UK. Often lacking family support, suffering financial disadvantage and struggling to find somewhere to live, applying for and being accepted for further and higher education is a real achievement.

Bucks New Universityhas demonstrated that it has a robust and consistent strategy in place to ensure that students from a care background can access a consistent package of support – financial, pastoral and educational. It has supported the Buttle UK Quality Mark for the past three years and has worked directly with 60 students during that time.

Sally Cushing, Widening Participation Manager at Bucks New University, said: “Since being awarded the Quality Mark we have developed effective support structures across the University including in our Admissions Department, Learning Development Unit, Careers Service, Accommodation Service and Student Centre. With this increased level of support for care leavers through all stages of the student lifecycle, we strive to ensure that all of our students who have experienced care are well-equipped and supported both during their studies and for their lives after university.”

Susan Mueller, Buttle UK Quality Mark Manager, commented: “We are very pleased that Bucks New University has continued to amply display its dedication and commitment to helping young people leaving care. Knowing that they feel included, supported and valued will go a long way to helping them succeed and give them the confidence to take the best choices and opportunities as they move to the next stage of their lives.

“Gaining the Quality Mark is a clear way for further education institutions and higher education providers to demonstrate their credentials to their partners, funders, inspectorates and the wider community – and importantly to the young people from care themselves.”

To find out more about the Buttle UK Quality Mark for Care Leavers visit 


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