Neath Port Talbot pupils to get support to reach their full potential

A group of able and talented year 9 pupils from Neath Port Talbot, who come from groups which are under-represented in higher education, will benefit from a support programme, launched at Swansea University, which will help them to achieve their full potential.

The programme is for pupils from Ysgol Bae Baglan in Port Talbot.  Opened in September this year, Ysgol Bae Baglan is a community school for pupils aged 3-16, and replaces Sandfields, Glan Afan and Cwrt Sart schools.

‌The pupils will be drawn from groups which traditionally have had a low rate of children going on to higher education.   This includes children living in disadvantaged areas targeted by Communities First, those receiving free school meals, in local authority care, or children with a disability.

The three-year programme is a partnership between the trade union Community, whose members include Port Talbot steelworkers; Ysgol Bae Baglan; and the Reaching Wider Partnership, led by Swansea University. 

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Picture: L-r Mike Tate, head of Ysgol Bae Baglan; John Park, Community Union; Alice Davies, Reaching Wider programme, Swansea University; Stephen Kinnock MP; Professor Martin Stringer, Pro Vice Chancellor, Swansea University.

Pupils on the programme will receive a wide package of support, including:

  • Visits to Swansea University
  • A progression day with NPTC Group
  • Career pathways visit at a local industry
  • Work with current university student ambassadors to get a better understanding of student life
  • Annual celebration event for participants and their parents/guardians

Labour MP for Aberavon, Stephen Kinnock, said:

"Swansea University, Community Union and Ysgol Bae Baglan have put together an innovative project to widen access and encourage young people, from under-represented groups, to achieve their full potential. I am delighted that the project is being piloted in my Aberavon constituency which historically has low numbers of young people going into higher education. This fantastic project is seeking to change that. We must ensure that every child, regardless of their background, feels that nothing is beyond their reach and this project will be a massive help towards reading down barriers and opening doors to knowledge, learning and opportunity for local young people.”

Swansea University Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Martin Stringer explained:

“Swansea University is committed to widening access and to supporting communities local to its campuses.  Helping young people from groups under-represented in higher education to achieve their potential is central to our mission.  This is why we support projects such as the one with Ysgol Bae Baglan.”

Mike Tate, Head teacher of Ysgol Bae Baglan, said:

“It’s a privilege to be a part of this project, which underpins the schools’ ethos of raising aspirations through the opportunities we can offer our students”

Community logo 2Community Union's Assistant General Secretary John Park said:

"This is a really important project that Community is very excited about being part of.

Not only will this project provide a new level of support for the pupils at Ysgol Bae Baglan, it will give the students from Swansea University valuable experience too.

We are proud of the communities that we represent in South Wales, and particularly proud when our efforts have an opportunity to reach beyond the workplace in projects such as this.”