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Care Experienced and Looked After Children

We recognise that care experienced students may need some extra support to fully participate and be successful in education. We are committed to ensuring that students in and leaving care are fully supported throughout their time at college to successfully achieve and progress.

Key staff with responsibility for Looked After Children and Care Leavers:

Deputy Principal - Andrea Murphy Andrea.Murphy@hopwood.ac.uk

Designated Manager for LAC/CL – Tracey Marrow Tracey.Marrow@hopwood.ac.uk 0161 655 6916

Pre-entry to College (Transition)

Working in partnership with local authorities, virtual schools, secondary schools and wider partner agencies, we are able to identify students who are in care, are care experienced and care leavers. Transition into college can be daunting and working in a multi-agency way we can identify any barriers and begin the transition-into-college process early to enable the learners to adapt. We encourage self-declaration on all our college application forms and at enrolment.

We offer:

  • Bespoke transition work, including individual campus tours
  • Opportunities to meet the support team
  • Summer transition programmes and activities
  • Guaranteed interview, which can be flexible to meet the needs of the young person
  • Financial advice and support and priority process for Student Financial Support, including application help for Guaranteed Bursary
  • Individual enrolment slots can be requested
  • Dedicated support at enrolment

Support on Programme

All care experienced students will have a dedicated pastoral welfare officer. This individual will be responsible for providing pastoral and welfare care, monitoring and intervening when barriers or issues arise, and will the main point of contact for anything that the learner needs help with.

They will:

  • Support with bursary, kit and travel applications
  • Advocate for learner
  • Signpost to external and internal services
  • Formally/informally liaise with social workers and other agencies
  • Support the PEP process (Personal Education Plan)
  • Meet termly or more often if student requires
  • Single point of contact for all mental wellbeing support

Careers and Guidance

We will provide a high quality Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG) programme (STEPS), supporting and adapting to the differing needs of care experienced young people.

  • Priority access to our careers and guidance teams, ensuring access to the most up to date information, advice and guidance
  • Termly careers appointment with Positive Steps advisor
  • Regular careers events with external agencies and universities

Learner Voice

  • A specific learner-led support group for care experienced students to ensure we are meeting their needs and feed into the development of college provision
  • Mentors for new students
  • A dedicated member of staff to support Learner Voice

Financial Support

We also offer financial support through the Guaranteed Bursary 16 to 19 Bursary Fund: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). This is an enhanced support package for ages 16-18 of up to £1200 over 36 weeks and 19+ care leavers could get up to £500, plus other benefits such as travel and kit, depending on circumstances.