Members of the Greater Manchester Looked After Children's Forum (GMLACF) travelled to the Palaces of Westminster recently to collect the first ever NEON Widening Access Partnership Award. The award recognises organisations that have worked together and supported each other to effectively widen access.
The GMLACF was formed in 2011 with a primary focus of supporting the educational progression of Care Leavers and Looked After Children. It has 71 individual members; from higher education (HE) providers, further education (FE) colleges and virtual school staff to leaving care teams, careers advisors and a number of charities/third sector organisations.
The forum has fostered a collaborative approach between Local Authorities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), which has ensured that information about university is provided to aspiring care leavers and their supporters prior to the submission of higher education applications. The GMLACF has also increased opportunities for staff to share both information and expertise; from keeping HEI colleagues up-to-date with national and local policy changes, to helping ensure that LAs and other colleagues understand developments in the HE sector and the support on offer, which may affect their young people.
Sam Kalubowila, Head of Greater Manchester Higher said:
‘It is with great pleasure that I write these words of congratulation. The NEON Award for Widening Access Partnership, which was awarded to the GMHigher Looked After Childrens’ Forum is a testament to the hard work, passion and drive in this very important area of work, and it’s fantastic to have this recognition on a national scale.’