Opportunity | Details

Care Leavers Wanted



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Kings College London

Summary: If you are a care experienced student in Year 12 studying in Greater London, your application to K+ would be prioritised.

Further Details:

King’s College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom.

1. Student

King’s College London recognises the challenges faced by care experienced students and so we offer support and guidance from the start of the application process all the way through to graduation and employment.

Definition of care experience

Events for Care Experienced Students 

We host ‘Introduction to University and King’s College’ event days for students who have been in care which include taster lecturescampus toursopen days, presentations by student support services and current students who have also been in care.  For such events we are able to reimburse travel costs for care-experienced students.

K+If you are a care experienced student in Year 12 studying in Greater London, your application to K+ would be prioritised. K+ is a two-year programme that aims to equip post-16 students across London with the knowledge, confidence and skills to successfully transition to university. Applications open in September/October, visit the K+ website for details.

Sutton Trust Summer School

The Widening Participation Department at King’s also hosts a residential Sutton Trust Summer School each year, for which applications from care experienced students are prioritised.

If you live outside of London, many other universities have similar access programmes and summer schools, so it may be worth contacting your local university.

Application Support

King’s College London has a designated member of staff, jack.mollart-solity@kcl.ac.uk who can assist care experienced students with all aspects of the application process: you can talk about course choices, receive feedback on a draft personal statement, tips on interviews as well as guidance on King’s other support services e.g. student funding or the disability services.

If you are care experienced we strongly advise you to disclose this on your UCAS application form. This will allow admissions staff to take your circumstances into consideration and will not have a negative impact on your application.

In order to access the support available we strongly encourage students to disclose that they have been in care and any extenuating circumstances. For more information on mitigating circumstances and the process please visit: Mitigating circumstances and the admissions process.

This information can be used in providing context when making admissions decisions but also ensures we provide the right financial, academic and personal support.  We don’t need to know why a student has been in care or any other detail and we do understand that some students see university as a new start and may be reluctant to let the university know. However, this information will never be used against a student.

To disclose their care leaver status students should:

  • Tick the Care Leaver box on the UCAS application form
  • Say they are care experienced on their personal statement
  • Ensure the teacher reference gives additional information and provides context
  • If needed fill in the Mitigating Circumstances form

King’s has a competitive admissions process and most programmes have many more applications than places.  Additional consideration for care experienced students varies from course to course. Some examples of the ways in which additional consideration is given are described below:

  • Students whose predicted grades are marginally lower than that required for the course may be given an offer (at the standard level)
  • Students whose application is considered as being close to the standard required to gain an interview may be offered an interview
  • Students whose admissions test score is considered as being close to the required standard might be given an offer or interview
  • Students who narrowly fail to meet their conditional offer will be given additional consideration as to whether their place should be confirmed.

In addition to the above, if we are aware of an applicant’s care-experienced status, the Associate Director of Admissions and the Associate Director of Widening Participation will review every care experienced student’s application before an unsuccessful decision is made.

King’s does not make lower or variable offers to care experienced students; however, they are eligible to apply for our Enhanced Support Dentistry Programme and Extended Medical Degree Programme. The entrance requirements for these courses are lower than our standard entry Dentistry and Medicine programmes.

Entry Support

Our designated advisor will meet with care experienced students as soon as they have a firm offer from King’s, helping with any queries about the transition into higher education and any money or moving worries. As well as meeting before they start, the advisor supports students throughout their journey in Higher Education, helping with bursary and accommodation applications and signposting students to other support services e.g. student funding, careers, study skills or counselling.

We host a welcome event each September for care-experienced students, where they have the opportunity to meet different support services and people in similar situations to themselves.

In addition to this, we offer specific financial bursaries for care-experienced students of up to £1,000 per year of study.

There are 52-week accommodation lets available for students from a care-experienced background, including options for subsidised accommodation and a limited number of full accommodation bursaries available.

All students are allocated a Personal Tutor from within their Department or School for support with academic work.  Care leavers also have access to a Senior Tutor who will act as a consistent tutor throughout their time at King’s.

Welcome Event

We host a welcome event in the first semester for care-experienced students, where they can meet different support services and students/student ambassadors from similar situations to themselves. As a part of the event each student receives a goodie bag. Previously we have provided goodie bags containing the following items: free stationary including a note pad, USB, free printing credit, and free a Nando’s gift card.

On Course Support

Once students have officially enrolled, they are allocated to a personal tutor who will be their main point of contact for academic support. We also have a designated Specialist Advisor that supports care-experienced students throughout the duration of their course to ensure they transition smoothly. The advisor assists the students with a range of concerns regarding, accommodation, wellbeing and financial support. They can also support students with bursary and accommodation application forms. The advisor also coordinates arrangements with academic and specialist support services including money advice, counselling and wellbeing services. We have a team of dedicated Money Advisors that offer bespoke money advice workshops upon request.

Mentoring and Coaching

We have a buddy scheme that is designed to support the transition of new students into University. New students are matched with experienced from a similar background who can :

  • Offer advice and guidance
  • sign post students services/activities offered by King’s and the student union

Kings of King’s – Buddy System

We also run a care-leaver mentoring programme in conjunction with the King’s Student Union. The programme is for students who are care experienced or care leavers from Year 7-9 within the following boroughs, Lewisham, Southwark, Croydon and Lambeth Council. The aim of the programme is to raise aspirations to University, helping them make informed decision about their course choices and University. Students will have the chance to be matched with a mentor (who are King’s students) and be invited to visit King’s College campus.

Employment Opportunities and Careers Advice

Employment opportunities are normally offered to students who are officially enrolled at King’s. Employment opportunity includes: Student Ambassadors, paid internships with our department. These opportunities are offered internally. We have a dedicated Widening Participation Careers consultant that offers bespoke support to careers advice

2. A Robust Employment Offer

KCL has a number of employment opportunities for enrolled students. Through our commitment to the Care Leaver Covenant, we shall explore how this might extend further.

3. Community

The KCL Smile Society run by dental students of King’s College London, offers free oral health workshops to Key stages 1-3 students (age 5-14). Their mission is to improve good dental health in the community and disease prevention. They also offer oral advice help for older students.

For information regarding their workshops can be found on their webpage.

King’s Legal Clinic

The King’s Legal Clinic offers free legal advice to members of the public as well as staff and students at King’s College London. The clinic offers specialist advice in the following areas:

  • Family clinic
  • Start up social enterprises
  • Immigration and Asylum
  • Mediation Project

All appointment request can be made through completing an online enquiry form.

Further information about the King’s Legal Clinic can be found on the link: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/legal-clinic

Next Steps

Interested? Get in touch:

Linda Gyamfi
Widening Participation Officer – (Discrete Groups)
0207 848 3455.

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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