On Thursday 13 June, Notre Dame’s Principal proudly received a social mobility award on behalf of the College.
This second place award was presented by the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA) in recognition of the work we do. Our results and destinations data make us one of the highest achieving colleges in the country for disadvantaged students. As an inner city college, we are a diverse community. 42% of our students come from widening participation postcodes or are in receipt of financial support from college. Over half come from minority ethnic backgrounds. 15% have special educational needs or disabilities.
We achieve such excellent results using a variety of college-wide activities, including: regular staff training to address barriers to social mobility; close tracking of our students’ progress; an average of three visiting speakers per week from different employers and universities; a huge variety of extra-curricular activities including compulsory work experience for students on vocational courses; active promotion of university widening participation programmes; and a plethora of work-place visits, university tasters, and employer engagement opportunities offered through exclusive partnerships with high-profile companies like Addleshaw Goddard solicitors.
The impact of all these activities is clear: our A Level results for disadvantaged students are third nationally for any college with comparable numbers, and we have the highest progress scores in the country for disadvantaged students studying applied subjects. In terms of destinations, in September 2018 82% of our leavers progressed to higher education, compared to 61% nationally. A quarter of those progressed to a Russell Group institution, compared to less than 10% nationally. Equally as impressive is the fact that 70% of disadvantaged students from Notre Dame progressed to university, compared to 46% nationally.
It’s no surprise our Principal, Mrs Justine Barlow, looks so pleased in the photograph above. We really are doing our best by all our students. As Mrs Barlow says, ‘Social mobility is at the heart of what we do at Notre Dame. We aim to educate the whole person and achieve each individual’s full potential, while recognising the uniqueness of each student.’