Tackling Social Exclusion Due to Poor Access in Urban and Rural Areas
N Coleman, S Thornthwaite, Steer Davies Gleave, UK
Unlike most other Western countries, the UK has traditionally had a low proportion of students continuing into further education. This is particularly notable in areas of high deprivation. The UK Government is keen to target this, to address both the predicted skills shortages and to reduce social exclusion from education.
Transport affordability and availability have been identified as significant barriers to continuing in education for some students ? particularly those in rural areas and in areas of low affluence.
As a result, the Department for Education and Skills established Pathfinder projects - £9m of ?pump prime? funding to identify transport needs, and reduce gaps in transport provision; to encourage post 16 participation in education and promote social inclusion.
Initially 58 local authorities in England were identified based on low staying on rates and high levels of deprivation ? including Derby City.
This paper reports on the research undertaken in Derby (and other authority areas including Kensington and Chelsea, Northamptonshire and Hartlepool), including illustrations from the extensive GIS analysis and mapping, and reporting on the consultation with schools, students, other 16-19 year olds not in education, parents, and other agencies.
The results highlighted extremely localised patterns of take up of education, and a lack of information on transport facilities and opportunities for students. As a result Derby City are developing an interactive web site and city wide information on courses available and transport facilities specifically for all 16 ? 19 year olds. Hartlepool has introduced an innovative briefing day for all advising Year 11 (age 15) students about options post 16.
Association for European Transport