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NEON award puts staff names up in lights for aspiring programme


University of Wolverhampton staff were commended recently at a national awards ceremony for their work with Looked After Children.

Natalie Latham and Melanie Harris work on the University’s Aspire2Uni programme and were nominated for the widening access Outreach initiative in this year’s NEON Awards.

The National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) was founded in early 2012 as the professional organisation to support those involved in widening access to higher education (HE) and social mobility. 

Aspire2Uni is an intensive ground-breaking programme for Looked After Children (LAC) run by the University of Wolverhampton.  Working with the Creating Chances Trust, the University engages with four Local Authority virtual schools to enable the programme to be embedded into wider strategies for raising aspirations, attainment and progression.

Natalie said:  “Through the programme we aim to target potential barriers to progression for Looked After Children  offering a menu of support which includes outreach, mentoring, academic assistance, work experience and enrichment opportunities.

“We have achieved real success in terms of engaging pupils on the programme with 80% of them on track to move into Higher Education.”

Ian Hart, Head of Outreach and Access at the University of Wolverhampton, said:  “We know from research that many Looked After Children do not regard Higher Education as something for them and are often be looked after by adults who have little experience of HE which is why this programme is so vital.

“We are all delighted that Natalie’s and Melanie’s hard work has been recognised at this national awards ceremony and they thoroughly deserve to have received this commendation.”

Picture caption from left to right: Melanie Harris, Natalie Latham and The Rt Hon. the Baroness Garden of Frognal.


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Date Issued: 6th June 2017

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