Northbrook College and Brighton Met is committed to supporting Care Leavers in education and within the community. As part of the College’s process of continual improvement, we have a dedicated team developing initiatives and projects to deliver targeted activities across the HE student lifecycle, from access and outreach to success and progression.  We have support in place to ensure that we give both our further and higher education students the best possible chance to succeed at university-level and progress either into employment or further studies. The college is part of the Care Leaver Covenant, and as such, it promises to provide support for Care Leavers aged 16-25 to help them live independently. 

When learners first apply to college, they are asked to declare whether they are currently, or have ever been in care. A report is then run to identify which learners are "care experienced". We can ensure that these students are given priority in all widening participation programmes and activities. 

We have listed below the support that is available for all care experienced students: 

Support for learners studying a further education course:

  • 1:1 support from pastoral mentors to discuss any issues arising for the learner. Including relationship and friendship issues, sexual health, financial or housing concerns, substance misuse, physical or mental health needs, or any worries or anxieties. 
  • The Widening Participation team will offer progression support with the application process, personal statements, interviews, finance, and university preparation. This can be for learners progressing within further education or moving onto higher education. 
  • Priority access to all widening participation holiday programmes. These are free programmes run throughout the school holidays and cover various subjects such as Art and Design, Photography, Engineering, Games Development and Music. 
  • Priority access to relevant masterclasses and industry talks. 
  • All external widening participation activity promoted through virtual schools, foster carer networks and social work teams throughout Brighton and Hove and West Sussex.

Support for learners studying a higher education course:

  • Support from a dedicated higher education mental health advisor. 
  • Alumni network to support collaborative working across courses and offer discounts to former learners. 
  • 1:1 support from the Widening Participation team will help secure housing, contact landlords, and accompany learners to house viewings where requested.
  • Priority access to Widening Participation programmes, for example;
    • Industry Mentoring Scheme. In their second and third year, learners are matched with a relevant industry mentor to help with their professional development. 
    • Higher education Student Ambassador Programme. This paid role for HE students will train them as widening participation ambassadors, allowing them to help with events, workshops and talks in local schools and colleges. 

In addition to the above, students falling into the GB MET definition of Care Leavers are entitled to further support. The definition of a ‘Care Leaver’ is a young person who has spent a total of 13 weeks or more in care after the age of 14. Care experienced students who do not fall into this category are considered ‘previously looked after’ and are not entitled to the same financial support as Care Leavers. However, they can still access pastoral support at the college. 

Students studying further education courses:

  • The Inclusion Team work closely with the mentors at the college to make sure Care Leavers are supported. 
  • A Pathway Plan will be written by the young person's Local Authority at age 16 and then be reviewed every six months. The college plays an active part in supporting young people to adhere to their pathway plans. 
  • Care Leavers are guaranteed a bursary from the college. 
  • Care Leavers will benefit from a named person at the college for entry and enquiries, responsible for working with and supporting their transition to further education. 

Support for learners studying a higher education course:

  • Benefit from a named person at the college for entry and enquiries, responsible for working with and supporting the transition to higher education. 
  • Care Leaver Bursary for full-time students. To qualify for this bursary, students need to fill in an application form and attach a supporting letter from their personal advisor. 
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