Opportunity | Details

Care Leavers Wanted



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Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Summary: …is committed to supporting Care Leavers. This is the whole-institution response evidenced through the Care Leaver Covenant.

Further Details:


Please detail the full life-cycle support you have in place for care leavers.

The Care Leaver Covenant advocates for a collaborative, whole-institution approach.

When detailing a response to this “pillar” we ask you to bear in mind (and where appropriate make reference to):­­­

  • The DfE Principles for Supporting Care Leavers in HE – which applies in part to FEC
  • That all appropriate and relevant information is kept up to date (and regularly checked) on the Propel Site
  • The CSJ and First Star’s pledge of supporting 12×24
  • The outcomes of NNECL’s Quality Mark Pilot, with the long-term consideration of signing up.
  • Reviewing and improving this provision every year, or as new advice is published – whichever comes first.

Guildhall School’s provision for those who have experience of the UK Care system is substantial.


Support begins pre-application;

Our Access and Participation department offer a number of fully funded opportunities in Music and Drama, with Care Leavers prioritised for all.

Young musicians can receive full training bursaries via Guildhall Young Artists, with the support spanning up to eight years.

Participation Bursaries are available for the online and in-person short courses and summer schools delivered by our Innovation team, which offer creative skill development opportunities to those aged 11+.

The Propel Pathway offers eligible undergraduate reserve offer holders the chance to work with tutors in the department, enhance their musicianship skills and receive a firm offer to study.

Our flagship Supported Application Scheme offers a free application, advice and guidance throughout the audition and interview process, invitations to events and workshops and a travel bursary for audition. This opportunity is unique to Drama Schools and conservatoires, and ensures an additional layer of support for applicants who require it, targeted transition support where an offer is made, and the chance to develop a network of peers throughout the process.

Applicants can request a meeting or support from designated staff members on audition/interview days, and at any time during the application process – we appreciate that every individual is different and so are not prescriptive in this support, but instead endeavor to meet the requirements of each individual.

We consider the NNECL definition of care-experienced within the eligibility for these Access and Participation opportunities.

Upon enrolment, Scheme participants are eligible for:

A one-off payment via the Access Equipment Fund, to cover the cost of course equipment and items needed for student accommodation.

The School are not in the UCAS system, but our direct application provides an opportunity to declare Care Leaver status. If an offer is made to an applicant who is a Care Leaver, our dedicated contact – the Senior Student Funding Officer – will reach out directly to provide additional information, guidance and contact information, particularly around accommodation and finance.

The Student Funding Officer and Student Life Officer do attempt to meet Care Leavers at least once before they begin at the School, to provide an opportunity to chat face to face, and ask any queries they may have.

Care Leavers receive priority for places in our student accommodation Sundial Court, and may live there for a maximum of two years.

Care Leavers are also provided with a bedding pack when they move in.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer accommodation over the summer, as we are a small institution with very limited accommodation, which undergoes essential maintenance each summer. The Student Life Officer is available to advise students on accommodation options for the remainder of their studies, and support with understanding housing contracts.

Our financial support package for Care Leavers.

Access Bursary is an award of between £3-5k each academic year, for which Care Leavers are top priority. Before the first term of their first year, if needed, part of the Access Bursary can be used to cover a student’s deposit in Sundial Court, and deducted from the first payment. This is then returned directly to the student when they move out.

Every student at the School is able to apply for Guildhall Financial Awards, with around 50% of our student population in receipt of some support – the majority of Access Bursary recipients also receive an award via this fund. Additionally, we operate a Hardship Fund for any student who suddenly finds themselves in financial need.

Our on course support:

As a small institution, with very small cohorts of students on each programme, our on-course support is by its nature individualised, with significant levels of 1:1 tuition, feedback and guidance. There is little risk at the School of a student ‘falling through the cracks’; teaching and support staff get to know students very well, and students are encouraged to share hopes and concerns. A students Care Leaver status is shared with the department only with their permission, and so this on-course support is not unique to a students’ circumstances, and more a specific benefit of studying at a small institution.

Our pastoral student support:

 We offer free, on-site counselling, physiotherapy and health appointments and learning support. Again, this provision is offered to all students, and is not based on individual circumstances.

The Guildhall School website has a dedicated page for Care Leavers and Looked After Children, which outlines the support available at all stages. This is updated annually to ensure it reflects current provision.

As a very small institution, we have very small numbers of students who are Care Leavers, which allows us to offer a tailored approach for individuals at every stage. We acknowledge that the support available to Care Leavers may be further strengthened, with processes streamlined and information more prominent on our promotional material. We therefore commit to further research and development to ensure that the support is exactly what is needed by students with Care Leaver status.

A robust employment offer

From application support, or adapted application processes and mentoring, to specific internships, work experience, apprenticeships or traineeships.

 This is very much open for institutional specific responses, but we believe that every institution is in a position through supporting care leavers as students to translate aspects of this to supporting and offering opportunities to current and potential employees.

Guildhall School of Music and Drama is keen to explore how, within our organisation, we could respond to this aspect of the Covenant. We plan to work with internal colleagues and we will also link with the local authority to understand the local need.


 How does the institution build relationships and engage with the local community?

Consider student clinics – medical or law for example. Health and beauty treatments, culinary schools or sports coaching in colleges, or information on talk series and open events etc.

 Consideration should be given to the advertising and access and / or discounted opportunities, which could be hosted on the Care Leaver Covenant app.

Guildhall School of Music and Drama is keen to explore how, within our organisation, we could respond to this aspect of the Covenant. We plan to work with internal colleagues and we will also link with the local authority to understand the local need.



Next Steps

Interested? Point of contact:

Name: Ashleigh Hope.

Position: Head of Access and Participation.

Email: Ashleigh.hope@gsmd.ac.uk

Contact number: 020 7382 7184.


Care Leaver Covenant

Any Queries?

If you have further questions or would like any more information, you can contact the Care Leaver Covenant at any time.

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