King’s has won the Guardian’s social and community impact award for Parent Power, a pioneering project that harnesses the potential of parents to inspire young people from underrepresented groups to pursue higher education.
Developed by King’s Widening Participation department and community organising charity, Citizens UK, Parent Power recruits and trains parents from King’s local boroughs to become experts in university access and campaigners on educational equality.
The Guardian’s University Awards celebrate “inspirational and groundbreaking projects from UK universities”. King’s Widening Participation team first ran the programme with the parents of 50 high performing and underrepresented pupils living in King’s local boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. It brought them together to gain knowledge about the education and university system and improve their skills and relationships to break down the barriers their children are facing.
Parent Power recognises the specific support required by pupils with academic potential who come from families with no history of university participation. Just 24 per cent of pupils eligible for free school meals go on to higher education, compared to 42 per cent of those from better-off families. Over a quarter of this gap in participation relates to students with the same levels of attainment at GCSE.