Quality Mark Celebration Event

8th June 2015

Since its launch in 2006, the Buttle UK Quality Mark has recognised institutions which have seized the opportunity to help support those who have been looked after in care to continue their education.

After nine years of the Quality Mark, we look back to celebrate all that it has achieved in Scotland. An event was held in the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow to mark the progress made and discussing what lies ahead for supporting students in care.

Speaking at the event, Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning said:

“We’ve known that young care-experienced people have been less likely to achieve good grades or continue with their education than their non-looked after classmates. It can be for any one of a number of reasons and pressures, and there is no single answer for all, but the Buttle Quality Mark has helped colleges and universities be much more prepared to offer the particular support a young person coming from being looked after in care may need.“This can be simple logistics. Many of us take for granted that we will have the paperwork or documentation needed to matriculate, but for a young person who has lived in care this might not be straightforward. Working with groups like the NUS, Who Cares? Scotland and others we have been able to bring in legislation to improve and expand the care and support for looked after children and make sure that students are the heart of their colleges and universities.

“We have come a long way and there is still more to be done. The Commission on Widening Access and our commitment to Developing our Young Workforce will pick up the mantle of much of the Buttle Quality Mark’s work and I would like to pay tribute to all of those who have devoted their time and expertise to such a worthwhile ambition of opening up our world-class education system to all of our young people.”

Buttle UK Chief Executive, Gerri McAndrew, said:

“Huge progress has been made in Scotland for care leavers in higher and further education and we are very grateful for the energy and enthusiasm of the universities and colleges, the Scottish Government and sector bodies in achieving this.

“We are confident that the gains made through the establishment of the Quality Mark in Scotland will now be built on, and the legacy model will continue to advance the educational prospects of care leavers across the country.”

Kevin Browne, Who Cares? Scotland, Senior Corporate Parenting officer, said:

"In April 2015, The Scottish Government legislated for every Post 16 Education body to become a Corporate Parent to young people in and leaving care. Who Cares? Scotland is hugely excited to work with these institutions to help them understand their duties as parents to care experienced young people. We're already working with colleges and universities and connecting them with their children because we believe that it is only when those voices come together, change will happen."

"We know that when the leadership of the institution embraces their care experienced students, it creates a positive culture within where young people feel they belong. Principals, management, and front line staff should want the same for care experienced young people as they would for their own children. The Buttle Quality Mark has left a hugely important legacy of practical support for care experienced students and we're looking forward to building on that even further."

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