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 who are estranged from their families may face unique challenges, and the School offers 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.
Generally, estrangement means you have little or no contact with your biological or adoptive parents and this is unlikely to change. You are considered to be an estranged student if:
- you haven't had any contact with either of your parents for 12 months or more, and this is unlikely to change.
- your relationship with your parents has broken down within the last 12 months and you don't expect this to change in the near future.
We understand that each person will experience estrangement uniquely, and that relationships can break down quickly, and we encourage students to speak to Student Affairs as soon as possible if their circumstances change whilst they are studying.
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 estranged young people are likely to be 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Senior Student Funding Officer, Sam Hanley, 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Pre-application: Please feel free to email Ashleigh, Sam or Julia at any time. You may also be eligible for the Supported Application Scheme.
- Post application submission: Again, feel free to email Ashleigh, Sam or Julia to find out more about the student support available.
- 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. Please do give the teams as much notice as possible.
- You are offered and accept a place: If one of the student support teams are already aware of your estrangement, 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 eligible to attend Get Ready for Guildhall in July, an event that allows you to meet other new students and student support services.
- 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.
Student finance applications and maintenance loans are based on parental income for students who are under the age of 25. However, estranged students can apply for Independent Student Status and once this is confirmed they will be awarded the maximum maintenance loan. The application process may vary slightly depending on which UK nation you live in, but for all it is important that you apply for your student finance early to allow plenty of time for assessment, and to ensure that you have access to all of the funds you are eligible for at the start of the academic year. You will also require a supporting document or statement verifying that you are irreconcilably estranged from your parents by an independent person with 'good standing in the community'. The StandAlone Student Finance Guide explains everything you will need in a clear and easy to understand way. The Senior Student Funding Officer is available to support offer-holders and students with finance applications.
You can also find information about the estrangement application processes for the UK Student Funding bodies via the below links:
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 estranged from their parents 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 are estranged from their parents are also prioritised for an Access Bursary of between £3-5k, providing they are home-funded and in receipt of a full maintenance loan from the their student funding body. Students will be required to provide evidence of their estrangement in the first year of applying for the Access Bursary, but will not need to provide evidence when re-applying in the future. For further information about the Access Bursary please contact the Access and Participation team on email@example.com.
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.
Estranged students are among the priority groups 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 estranged from their parents.
Stand Alone are a charity offering support services to prevent estranged adults becoming vulnerable, and they have a wealth of information about being an estranged student. You can find out more here.