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 two contacts who can help you navigate the application process and the start of your Higher Education career. This support will continue all the way through to graduation. Please feel free to contact either member of staff at any time.
The Student Funding Officer 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.
The Student Life Officer 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.
You might also like to talk to the Access and Participation Officer, who runs the Supported Application Scheme, which could offer you a free application and lots of support through the application and audition process. They also oversee the Access Bursary, and are available to answer questions that might help with your decision making process.
All information provided by care leavers will be held in the strictest confidence, and only shared when required.
If you declare on the application form that you are a care leaver 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.
Financial Support from the School
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 are also prioritised for the Access Bursary, providing they are home-funded and in receipt of a full maintenance from the their student funding body. Bursaries of between £3,000 and £5,000 per year will be awarded (with a maximum of 30 bursaries available). This award 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. Students will be expected to provide evidence to support their eligibility for this award and must reapply each year. See further details and how to apply to the Access Bursary Policy below.
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.
When is support available?
- Pre-application: Please feel free to email either contact.
- Post application submission: If you have declared that you are a care leaver but have not contacted either member of 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 either the SFO or SLO will try to make themselves available.
- You are offered and accept a place: You will be invited to meet with the SFO and SLO to assist you in filling in all the required forms to access funding, scholarship support, 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.
- 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 opportunities available to students. If needed the SFO or SLO will help you prioritise your timetable during this week to balance the necessary with the ‘extra curricula’ activities provided.
- After enrolment week: The SFO and SLO will be available for regular meetings to address any concerns. Support from the SFO and SLO will be ongoing until you graduate and can be accessed at any time during the calendar year subject to School closure times.
Further information and support
The School has recently signed the Care Leavers Covenant. You can find out more about the support that they offer on their website.