Care experienced and estranged students are
currently under-represented in higher education
and we need your help to change this. As a
teacher, you can play an important part in
inspiring and supporting these young people to
achieve their potential.
Here are my five top tips to ensure the transition to higher education can be as smooth as possible for your students.
Look for providers who have made a public commitment to supporting care experienced and estranged students. Have they signed the Stand Alone Pledge and the Care Leaver Covenant? Are they members of the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL)? Engagement with these organisations is a clear message that support is available and these institutions have committed to developing their offer for these students.
Not all students feel confident about their ability to progress directly to higher education. Would they prefer to study an Integrated Foundation Year to prepare them for undergraduate study? Or perhaps an apprenticeship or foundation degree would help to build confidence? There are a range of options available to suit all students.
When universities know that a student is care
experienced or estranged, we can support them
through the entire application process and work
with you to guide and reassure them through their
Also, encourage your students to find out what support is available to them. At the University of Sunderland, we provide bespoke support for all care experienced and estranged students. This includes a named contact, guaranteed accommodation, a bursary of £2,000 each year, regular check-in meetings, help finding part-time work and so much more.
The Propel website, developed by national charity Become, provides access to full information about the support offered at each institution and is a useful starting point.
Work with each student to create a to-do list which clearly shows key actions in the lead up to starting university. Applying for accommodation, bursaries and student finance may have deadlines so these need to be included too. Care experienced and estranged students may be eligible to receive additional financial support, guaranteed accommodation, personalised support and priority places to attend summer schools so it is important to plan ahead.
So many students tell us that they never considered higher education until a teacher encouraged them to do so and actually believed that they could! Ask students how they’re feeling about university and reassure them that you’re there to offer support.
This free newsletter will include information on university events added to UniTasterDays, as well as details about new webinars and blog releases for you and your students.
by Ashleigh Poole
posted on 22 Sep '23
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an opportunity for teachers and school staff to interact with external mentors, share best practice and enhance their knowledge in specific subject areas, including the higher education journey. This blog will tell you more about all the opportunities.