Learners that are care experienced (care leavers) are supported through a number of initiatives:
- There is a dedicated member of staff, Beverly Brown (), who is the initial point of contact and will liaise with the learner, virtual schools and teaching staff to help with transition, financial support and overcome any barriers to learning
- The learner is supported to apply for the vulnerable bursary
- The learner has access to e Guidance and Progression officer to help with information, advice and guidance
- Progress Coaches and Tutors in each curriculum area help support care leavers with any barriers or challenges to learning
Lewisham College is currently undergoing a review of Student Support, which will also take into consideration our care leaver provision. We intend to establish a student voice group to advise us on the Covenant and we will update the outcomes of this in due course. We would like to develop a support group and mentoring scheme for care leavers to help support with transition and emerging barriers or issues which affect attendance and retention.
We are also working with Restorative Now to develop a culture of restorative practice. Both staff and students will participate in training to help develop this culture and practice.
2. A Robust Employment Offer
We currently work closely with a wide range of employers and HE institutes to provide advice and guidance to support care leavers with their progression and destination outcomes.
We have an internal apprenticeship team who raise awareness of apprenticeship programmes and opportunities and offer support to those who wish to apply.
We organise trips and visits as well as in internal events including a HE and Careers Fair. Care Leavers are able to access support in preparing their CV’s and developing their skills in readiness for interviews.
Lewisham College is keen to explore how, within our organisation, we could respond to this aspect of the Covenant. We plan to set up a working group, which will include members of the careers team and other key staff and we will also link with the local authority to understand the local need.
Lewisham College is a community-based institution delivering a number of community focused activities and courses. The college has a couple of commercial venues including a hair and beauty salon and restaurant. We will be investigating initiatives to offer discounts or special offers to care experiences learner or those within the community.
The College has a strong relationship with our local care leaving team and we shall seek out a consultation on the way in which we work together and what more the college could be doing to support our local care leavers in the community. We would like to explore working together to put on cooking / life skills classes for care leavers in the community for example.
The College is also working with the Covenant and other partner organisations to support Lewisham students to find appropriate job roles, and experiences within the local community.
The College has signed commitments over 30 community partners to help support and engage with them to deliver services and provision to help meet their needs. This could develop to include how each partner could help support care leavers.