What do you imagine when you think of the word ‘barriers’?
The most common answer is something that stands in the way. One image that comes to mind is a Ninja Warrior Course – full of obstacles to overcome in order to reach the finish, as well as different pathways to get to that all important destination, where you can then finally bask in your success.
Everyone in life has barriers – to their mental health, physical health, learning, relationships and more. Everyone’s barriers look different and are unique to each individual – some relatively minor to overcome and some that take years of hard work and consistent dedication to reach the other side. Some, such as race, should not be a barrier in a fair and just society, however systemic racism means they unfortunately are. How these feel and their impact on one’s life are all distinctive to the person that is experiencing them.
We believe that no student in the Buckinghamshire area and beyond should be held back from success due to their personal barriers in life. You only need to read the latest headlines which frequently discuss issues such as; the gender pay gap, racial inequality in the workforce, the motherhood penalty (google this one if you’re unsure) and more for a peak into how individual barriers are turned into systemic issues in the workplace. Barriers such as race, gender, disability and more very wrongly mean some are unable to fulfil their potential and this begins at school.
You may be thinking, if that is what some students are faced with, what support and help is out there to ensure that they start their career with the tools needed to overcome their barriers? Study Higher are an outreach partnership for young people in years 9-13 and their sole aim is to help students succeed despite the barriers to their success. You can find the student section of their website here as well as search through their upcoming events for either yourself or someone you may know.