All young people leaving care in Scotland will be offered a place at university, the First Minister has announced, as long as they achieve the required exam grades.
The youngsters will also receive a full bursary of £7,625, said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – the equivalent of the university grants which have now been completely abolished in England.
The scheme will come into force from the beginning of the academic year in 2017. Sturgeon said she wanted to reduce the attainment gap amongst care leavers, who are currently six times less likely to go to university than other young people.
The First Minister said:
“We are working to ensure that every young person in Scotland has a fair chance to study at university, take a modern apprenticeship or gain experience in the workplace. This step, which provides extra, targeted help to those who most need it, is emblematic of our wider approach. I want every young person in Scotland – regardless of gender, wealth, or their family circumstances – to have a fair chance to succeed.”
South of the border, meanwhile, just six per cent of care leavers are currently in higher education according to recent government figures.
Photo by Ewan McIntosh via Flickr