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 Kitemark 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.
Pre-application/ application stage:
- We have named dedicated contacts who are able to provide information, advice and guidance (IAG) where possible to students who need additional support, all accessible via our named contact for the Covenant (Rachel Brookes – Widening Participation Officer). We will cover:
Early application support, including where applicable Disability support and applying for DSA (Disabled Students Allowance)
On-course support & IAG
Preparing for work / careers support and IAG
- Providing a range of aspiration raising activity through the university’s outreach team to care experienced young people in local schools and colleges, including campus visits.
- Dedicated section of the planned Teachers and Advisors conferences to focus on spreading and advertising support and outreach available.
- Outreach provision aimed at parents and guardians to provide IAG around accessing Higher Education and the support available over the next 12 months
- Dedicated web pages ‘Access to Harper’* and hosted page, Propel. This will be reviewed and kept up to date.
- Our Contextualised offer scheme reduces entry requirements by one grade for any care experienced individual, to recognise the likelihood that their studies are likely to have been disrupted, before, during and possibly after care (more information available at http://www.harper.ac.uk/access).
- We actively contact care experienced individuals (from their UCAS forms) to make them aware of the support available and to support them with their transition to university.
- We are committed to creating stronger relationships and links with the personal advisors and local authority to ensure that activity and opportunity is promoted to care experienced young people.
On course Support:
- Care experienced students are made aware of the day-to-day living, academic, and professional guidance that is available to them.
- The Transitions Conference provides an early opportunity to meet fellow students, meet the student support and wellbeing team and attend a number of conference sessions aimed at enhancing skills and awareness of university life from a social and academic point.
- 365-day accommodation available on campus from the point of becoming a registered student at Harper Adams; if we are unable to fulfill this, support is provided to find other suitable accommodation all year round.
- Able to prioritise applications for accommodation and the type of accommodation allocated (please do ensure when applying Harper Adams is aware of your care-leaver status).
- Options to adapt payment plans around accommodation if required.
- Priortised appointment slots available for care experienced individuals with the Student Wellbeing team.
- Care experienced students have the option to access fortnightly appointments with the Academic Guidance Team for the first term.
- Access, support and guidance to ensure that receipt of entitlements to financial support through local and central government-backed schemes, working with personal advisors.
- Access and applications support available for the Access to Learning Fund (ALF)** and Hardship grants/loans.
- The Students’ Union will assess on a case-by-case basis subsidised ticket or event costs and will also look to support, where required, to participate in sports and societies at a reduced cost
- Care experienced individuals will receive priority access to any of the workshops run by Student Services and the Wellbeing Team, these may include workshops such as:
- ‘Stress to Success’
‘Look after your mate’ (mental health).
Accommodation workshops (how, where and who)
- Weekly finance drop-in tutorials
Couch to 5k
- Shuttle buses (transport) is available*** between Newport and the Harper Adams Campus through term time Monday – Saturday and transport available to Telford on Sunday. This is an all-year-round service, though runs on a reduced schedule outside of term time.
- We endeavor to review services and support and the impact of this on individual groups including care experienced students.
‘Access to Harper’* – http://www.harper.ac.uk/access
Access to Learning Fund (ALF)** – http://www.harper.ac.uk/alf
Shuttle Bus information*** – https://store.harper-adams.ac.uk/product-catalogue/student-zone/student-zone/shuttle-bus-pass
Please note, we do our best to keep this document as up to date as possible, but things are subject to change. If you have any queries or questions about our pledge, please do contact our designated person.
Updated August 2022.
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.
Pre-Application/ application stage:
- Outreach provision designed to identify and guide choices around industry and careers, including advice around work experience.
- Prioritised places for care experienced students to secure opportunities to complete Nuffield projects.
- Access to Agriculture Scheme to support pre-enrolment applicants secure work experience and, subject to meeting contextualised entry conditions, enrolments on the Access to Agriculture programme to enable agriculture students to satisfy normal work experience entry requirements before the commencement of Year 2.
On course support:
- We offer a range of careers advice and support during studies and after graduation, which includes individual support to identify suitable career paths, undertake role research and guidance to successfully complete vacancy selection processes.
- Harper Adams Careers Service runs an autumn programme called ‘becoming a professional’. This involves employers offering practice interviews and advice sessions. Places will be targeted at care experienced individuals who would have a guaranteed place in one of these sessions.
- Guidance and support available to apply for Development Trust Scholarships*, which include employment opportunities. Care experienced individuals are encouraged to apply where applicable and given assistance with the process.
- Students have access to individualised support to secure an appropriate, compulsory placement period and are provided with a placement tutor for the duration of the placement year. (Many roles are paid; others will offer benefits such as accommodation, training or use of a car. Some placements are linked to scholarships).
- Work opportunities of varying lengths available within some of the university’s services departments, subject to availability of vacancies. (Pay dependent upon contracted hours and department), available for all students.
- Care experienced students are guaranteed an interview for a role as a Student Ambassador, which is a paid role (pay per hour is £9.17 if under 23 and £9.50 if over 23. This is reviewed yearly). Flexible working opportunity around studies for duration of the time at Harper Adams (subject to satisfactory work – would need to identify themselves to our MyCovenant contact at Harper Adams, Rachel Brookes, Widening Participation Officer
- Care experienced guaranteed interview to become an online Unibuddy ambassador, which is a paid role pay per hour is £9.17 if under 23 and £9.50 if over 23. This is reviewed yearly). Flexible working opportunity around studies for duration of the time at Harper Adams (subject to satisfactory work – would need to identify themselves to our MyCovenant contact at Harper Adams, Rachel Brookes, Widening Participation Officer
- Students have access to meet industry and network through the Careers and Placement Fair and the Land Management, Real Estate and Environment Fair. This enables students to engage with organisations. Advertised to all students via all student emails, the placement team, careers, social media, SU and academic course teams. Care experienced students will also be encouraged to attend if accessing slots with the Wellbeing team.
- Access to an online employer portal which includes online resources that students can access throughout the year.
- Access and opportunity to apply for a wide range of land based accredited courses during studies, at a subsidised cost (up to 50% discount). A wide range of courses running on set dates throughout the year, costs ranging from £0 – £400). This is only for current students at the university and will be advertised to care experienced students earlier than all other students. Will have the opportunity to discuss with staff which courses may be beneficial and why.
- The Careers team regularly advertise employment and Employers in partnership with Harper Careers advertise employment vacancies directly. Students have a secure login for this site (via Harper Adams website) and can access further support for the application process. Care experienced students are encouraged to access support through staff contact.
Development Trust Scholarships* – https://www.harper-adams.ac.uk/apply/finance/scholarships/internal.cfm
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.
Consider how this information is publicised, how this might be augmented to enhance the reach to a care leaving audience?
- A range of events on campus and virtually throughout the year that are open to the public. An opportunity to be immersed in campus life and explore the courses, facilities, student services and support that’s available. These events are free to attend and event listings can be found here: harper.ac.uk/events.
- We will look to advertise events and opportunities through our Virtual Head and personal advisers to help us reach care experienced individuals. We aim to work closely with the Shropshire Council to achieve this, through their local offer.
- We will look to work with collaborative partners and groups such as the Higher Horizons + and our Uniconnect hubs to support open community events where required.
- There is a commitment to dedicate a section of the future Teachers and Advisers conference to have specific sections around student support, wellbeing and careers.
- We will be working to create bespoke Outreach sessions aimed at Parents and Guardians to give IAG around Higher Education to help dispel myths and barriers and outline the opportunities, challenges and support available.
- We will also look to get support from personal advisors and speak to staff here at Harper Adams to better educate our staff around the barriers and challenges these individuals may face.
- We will offer free use of rooms on site for care leaver charities to use for events if liaised with the Harper Adams Outreach team and contact Rachel Brookes.