Focus on Walsall – A Look at Further Education in the Recession – Hit West Midlands Town


The Times Educational Supplement not too long ago reported of the UK-wide cutbacks proposed for universities. The report appears at Queens University Belfast which is set to slash fees by £10 million, and highlights Oxford Brookes’ equivalent scenario in getting to cut back by £500,000. Interestingly, whilst the report does nicely to suggest that the recession will be felt in practically every single institution across the nation, there is little discussion of the troubles for larger education I particular much less-affluent places of the country.

In Walsall, a massive town that lies north west of Birmingham, university cutbacks are surely a single factor, but other statistics published by suggest even bigger issues. Currently 41 % of all residents that claim Job Seekers Allowance (ten,739) in the borough are beneath 24, while significantly less than 10 % of college leavers are getting into larger education – with just four.five percent and 5.1 percent in the wards of Bloxwich East and Blakenall respectively. These figures contrast with the hundreds of wards across the country that have 99 % of young men and women enrolling on further education courses.

At first glance, it does not seem that that there is a lack of chance for those eager to enter higher education or enrol on a degree course in the town. Not only is there great access to facilities in Birmingham, the town itself is also property to Walsall College and the Sports and Art Campus of the University of Wolverhampton. The University of Wolverhampton presently serves over 20,000 students and has undergone a important amount of pre-recession improvement over the final 10 years.

However, despite certain proof of chance for young individuals in the area, Walsall has long been an area of under-typical academic results, with the Office for National Statistics reporting that just 45 % of school pupils accomplished GCSE grades of A*-C. At, Shadow Innovation, Universities and Capabilities secretary David Willetts MP pointed his finger firmly at opportunity. He stated: “Far also a lot of college leavers from poorer backgrounds, who have equivalent aspirations to their wealthier peers, are just not obtaining the possibilities they require to match their ambitions…”School reform is essential but there is more the Government can do.”

In spite of the hard occasions in Walsall, plans are getting place into spot in order to improve education for young individuals. The Vine Trust, a charity established to help difficult-to-teach young individuals, was founded in the town in 1989 – and has since gone from strength-to-strength by providing education and services to young folks, and working closely with nearby education authorities and organizations. The Vine Trust is pioneering a new wave of social enterprises, a trend that the government is backing in order to stimulate new jobs that transform our communities.