The School is committed to doing its best to ensure that students from all backgrounds feel able to apply and take up a place at the School. Students from a care background may face particular challenges in progressing to Higher Education so the School has put in place a range of support to help you navigate the application process and your Higher Education career. This support will continue all the way through to graduation.
The School considers a broader definition of care experience when determining which students should benefit from the bespoke support offered to Care Leavers. This has been developed in consultation with the Care Leavers’ Covenant. Care experienced students will have spent time in the care of a Local Authority or Health and Social Care Trust at some point before their 18th birthday.
This could include:
- Recognised Care Leavers, who are eligible for statutory support from their Local Authority;
- Living with foster parents;
- Living at home with parents/guardians, or in kinship care, under the supervision of social services;
- Living in a residential children’s home;
- Living in another residential setting like a school or secure unit;
- Those who are adopted before the age of 18.
This list is not exhaustive, as we appreciate that some students have unique circumstances. If you believe that you are care experienced, but your personal circumstances are not outlined above, please contact the Access and Participation team on email@example.com or the Student Life Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org for further guidance.
Please feel free to contact these staff at any time.
The Head of Access and Participation, Ashleigh Hope, may be your first point of contact with the School, as Care Leavers and care experienced young people are eligible for the activity delivered by the Access and Participation team, including our Supported Application Scheme. This team also distribute the Access Bursary.
Find out more about Access and Participation activity and support or email email@example.com.
The Senior Student Funding Officer, Megan Lapworth-Maisey, works in the Registry and can help with completing application forms and with any questions you may have about external and internal funding opportunities, including the Access Bursary.
Find out more about the funding available to undergraduate students or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Student Life Officer, Julia Oliver, works in Student Affairs and can advise students on a range of matters from accommodation and finding a job to social events. Student Affairs supports all students in non-academic matters.
Find out more about Student Affairs or email email@example.com.
If you declare on the application form that you are a Care Leaver or care experienced and subsequently are offered a place then you will need to confirm your eligibility by providing us with a letter from the local authority that looked after you. After this point we will not ask for any other personal information about you or your family.
All information provided by care leavers will be held in the strictest confidence, and only shared when required, though Ashleigh, Megan and Julia will liaise about Care Leavers and care experienced students so that only one disclosure is required.
- Pre-application: Please feel free to email Ashleigh, Megan or Julia at any time. And definitely take a look at our Supported Application Scheme before applying.
- Post application submission: If you have declared that you are a care leaver but have not contacted the above staff then you will be contacted by email with the offer of support
- Audition/Interview day: If you are coming on your own and would like support during any waiting times then the Access and Participation team, Student Funding Officer or Student Life Officer will try to make themselves available.
- You are offered and accept a place: You will be invited to meet with the Student Funding Officer and Student Life Officer to assist you in filling in all the required forms to access funding, scholarship support, and accommodation and generally help you to get things organised. The enrolment requirements will be explained to ensure that you have all the required documents ready in good time for September. You will also be invited to Get Ready for Guildhall.
- Enrolment Week: The first week of term (enrolment week) can be very busy, with academic inductions, tests and other meetings. During enrolment week you will be invited to events to help you settle in and ensure you make the most of your time at the School and the opportunities available to students. If needed the Student Funding Officer or Student Life Officer will help you prioritise your timetable during this week to balance the necessary with the ‘extra curricula’ activities provided.
- After enrolment week: The Head of Access and Participation, Student Funding Officer and Student Life Officer will be available for regular meetings to address any concerns. Support will be ongoing until you graduate and can be accessed at any time during the calendar year subject to School closure times.
The School offers a range of scholarships for both maintenance and tuition fees in order to try and ensure that no student is prevented from taking up a place at the School because of financial hardship. Applicants and enrolled students who are Care Leavers will be given special consideration for scholarship support where it is declared on the scholarship form (this does not necessarily guarantee an award). Scholarships have to be applied for on an annual basis.
UK undergraduate students who qualify as Care Leavers or care experienced are also prioritised for an Access Bursary of £5,000, providing they are home-funded and in receipt of a full maintenance from the their student funding body. This award, although at a lower value, is also available to other student groups, including estranged and independent students, students with a disability and those from areas of the UK with low levels of progression to Higher Education. For further information about the Access Bursary please contact the Access and Participation team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sundial Court Halls of Residence is owned and run by the School, offering accommodation to students from the start to the end of the academic year.
Care Leavers and care experienced students are prioritised for places in Sundial Court if they apply, irrespective of the proximity of their current accommodation to the School, and they are able to apply to live in Sundial for up to two years of their studies. We are also able to provide a bedding pack for any new Sundial Court residents who are care experienced.