BULWELL parents should make it a New Year resolution to help their children to do well enough at school to get to university, claims the town’s Labour MP, Graham Allen.
New figures show that only one in eight youngsters in Bulwell and the rest of Mr Allen’s Nottingham North consistuency end up at ‘uni’ — the lowest number in the UK.
Just 13% of 18-year-olds from the constituency study for a degree or an alternative higher education course, compared with the national average of 34%.
Although this is an increase from eight per cent in 2006, the constituency remains at the bottom of the Higher Education Funding Council for England league table.
Mr Allen said the demoralising statistics were a ‘personally motivating badge I carry’ as he fought for improvements. He is a leading champion of early intervention and feels this could prove an important step to counteract the lack of young people in Nottingham North progressing to university or further education.
He said: “I am seeking to promote early intervention to give babies, children and young people the social and economic basics that all educational progress is built upon.
“Given the right start, our kids can achieve as much as those anywhere else. People in Nottingham North, especially parents, teachers and all who support them, are working really hard to improve the life chances for our young people and the recent improvement is very welcome.
“But there is a need to continue feeding through to the top of the educational ‘food chain’ the numbers going on to university and further education.
“I would like parents in Bulwell and the rest of my constituency to make it their New Year resolution to encourage their son or daughter to aim for a university place.
“I want to see not one in eight but one in three of our kids enjoy the life-changing benefits of further education. I see no reason why this canot be achieved.”
Dr Peter Gates, of Nottingham University, has carried out a special study of education in Nottingham North.
He said: “Attending university is not the be-all and end-all. If I want someone to fix my boiler, it doesn’t matter whether the person who does the job has gone to university or not.
“It should be pointed out that we have two fantastic colleges in Nottingham that encourage further educational attainment.”