Lone parents: addressing barriers to participation in post-compulsory education

Hinton-Smith, Tamsin (2008) Lone parents: addressing barriers to participation in post-compulsory education. SRHE Postgraduate and Newer Researchers Conference: Reshaping Higher Education, University of Sussex, 10 December 2007. Published in: Proceedings of SRHE Postgraduate and Newer Researchers Conference on Reshaping Higher Education; University of Sussex, UK; 10 December 2007. Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (376kB) | Preview


The research was part of Equal, a European Social Fund initiative addressing labour market discrimination. Increasing educational participation amongst ‘non-traditional’ students can be viewed in terms of the philanthropic goal of extending opportunities to individuals, or structurally in terms of the globalised economy’s demand for skilled labour (Naidoo & Callender, 2000:227). Decreasing numbers of school leavers necessitate casting the net beyond traditional groups (Gallagher et al, 1993:2; Edwards, 1993:5), implicating responsibility for promoting positive student experiences for non-traditional students targeted by the education system. Lone parents report sacrifices in pursuit of education including debt, placing children in childcare, and loss of family time, support networks and jobs. Mature and working-class students’ low completion rates (Yorke, 2001:148) highlight difficulties managing learning with other adult responsibilities. Hands et al observe student parents’ particular susceptibility to non-completion (Hands et al, 2007:25). Institutionally, non-completion represents ‘wasted’ investment. Providing inadequate support also fails vulnerable students, setting them up for failure and exacerbating frequently low self-esteem and confidence (Murphy & Roopchand, 2003:247,256; Greif, 1992:570). The present research illustrated how negative school experiences often result in lengthy educational gaps. Institutions are responsible for ensuring that individuals’ self-esteem is not further damaged by failure through inadequate support.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
L Education > L Education (General)
Depositing User: Tamsin Hinton-Smith
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 08 May 2018 15:28
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1825
Google Scholar:0 Citations

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update