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.
- We have dedicated information for Care Leavers on our University website. We aim to continue to develop our online provision to ensure that we provide more comprehensive and accessible information about the practical support and opportunities available to Care Leavers both pre-entry and on course including key university contact details and student case studies. We also have a Care Leavers’ information leaflet available at Open Days.
- We have a named contact for Care Leavers in our Student Support Services Department for all pre-entry enquiries.
- Our NTU Outreach Team offers 1:1 or small group visits to the University for Care Leavers including campus tours, personalized application support, general advice and guidance and signposting to other general outreach opportunities.
- The University offers a range of pre-entry interventions / activities for pre and post 16 students to provide them with a valuable insight into the University experience. Care-experienced students are a priority group for all NTU Outreach intervention including the NTU Work Experience Scheme, NTU Progression Scheme, Experience Days and the Pathways to Law Scheme.
- All Care Leavers have a pre-entry contact from a Senior Student Support Adviser from Student Support Service covering areas such as preparation for University, independent living and accommodation at University. We also offer a one-to-one appointment with a Student Finance Adviser to discuss student finance / money matters and provide pre-entry financial capability resources and advice.
- NTU works with teachers and care professionals to promote awareness of the prioritisation of care-experienced students in all NTU Outreach interventions.
- We are currently looking to initiate targeted activities / support for care-leavers as part of our NTU Welcome.
- Care Leavers have a dedicated Student Support Adviser in their Academic School and will be invited to meet with their Student Support Adviser on a termly basis. Their Adviser can support them with liaison with other University services and their Local Authority care team and facilitate referrals to specialist support if appropriate.
- Care Leavers will be offered a Money Advice /budgeting appointment with a Student Finance Adviser during Term 1 of Year 1 and referred to our online financial capability online modules and tools.
- Care Leavers will receive targeted, timely, communications on course advising them of the support services and opportunities available to them including information about Student Support Services, health and wellbeing information, volunteering opportunities, ‘Student Mentor’ and ‘Students in Classrooms’ work experience opportunities.
- In collaboration with NTU Students Union, we intend to establish Care Leaver evaluation and feedback groups to help shape our service development for Care Leavers.
- We offer a Care Leaver Bursary for full-time undergraduate students (£1000 per year for 2020/21 entrants -terms and conditions apply) for each year of their course. Care Leavers may also be eligible for our NTU Bursary (£750 per year – terms and conditions apply). There are also some individual competitive Scholarships offered to full-time undergraduate students that Care Leavers may be eligible to apply for.
- Care Leavers are a target group for our Summer Vacation Hardship Fund.
- The University offers University Residence accommodation throughout the summer vacation for Care Leavers and also allows Care Leavers to return to University halls of residence in their second and final year.
- Awareness raising of the support needs of Care Leavers / Care Experienced students will be part of Student Support Services training for Residents Advisers and Wardens.
- We can also underwrite deposits for University halls of residence for Care Leavers / Care Experienced students who do not have the means to pay their deposit until they receive their student finance funding.
- We are currently reviewing our accommodation welcome support for Care Leavers in halls of residence.
Care Leavers are a target group of NTU Employability’s Rise Initiative which supports specific widening participation students to achieve their potential and have fair access to opportunities to improve rates of retention, attainment, placement uptake and graduate outcomes. This includes a range of support as follows:
- Rise Work Experience Fund to support students to take unpaid work experience (max 4 weeks);
- Rise Progression Fund to support interview and assessment costs for final year students
- Rise Sandwich placement Bursary to support student on their sandwich placement
- A 2-day Placement Support Programme for second year undergraduate students to boost students’ confidence and resilience in seeking and securing placement opportunities
- Dedicated communications to Rise students to ensure they maximise their engagement with the opportunities and support available to them.
Care Leavers also have dedicated specialist contacts within the Employability Team and are encouraged to access central Employability services including drop-ins with a Career Consultant, Employability events and Job Fairs, employability workshops.
Care Leavers are actively encouraged to sign up to NTU’s Future You Scheme in their final year enabling them to receive targeted job alerts, invitations to events, and coaching from the ‘Future You’ graduate team.
The University provides a range of paid opportunities for its current students to gain valuable work experience whilst at University including: Student Ambassadors who support University events, Residence Advisors based in Hall and Student Mentors based in Academic Schools. There are also a number of voluntary opportunities including acting as a Course Representative and a Mental Health Champion.
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.
As part of our widening participation initiative, NTU offers the NTU Work Experience Placement Scheme, which provides one-week work experiences at the University to both pre and post-16 young learners in the community. This scheme is promoted directly to local care-professionals, and care-experienced applicants to the scheme are a target group meaning that they will be prioritised in receiving a placement offer wherever possible.
NTUs Future You scheme offers 6-week fully paid graduate internship opportunities at NTU and external organisations. The Future You team ‘match’ graduate interns to supportive host employers, removing difficult recruitment processes or challenging employer requirements, that may cause a barrier to gaining employment. Care Leavers will be matched with a key employability contact in the team at the start of the final year who will coach them through the graduate recruitment process and if appropriate then fast-track them through the internship process to provide them with the maximum opportunity to benefit from the internship opportunities.
The University also offers the NTU Graduate Development Programme exclusively for NTU graduates. These 13-month job roles (£23,000 a year commencing in the summer) are based in the University professional services departments and provide tailored developmental opportunities to help our graduates gain the skills and experience.
NTU is currently looking into the possibility of providing mentoring for Care Leavers who are part of the NTU Graduate Development Programme and will continue to review the ‘Employment offer’ area of the covenant.
NTU is currently reviewing this area of our covenant and will provide further updates in the future.
Nottingham Legal Advice Centre is NTU’s own teaching law firm and provides free or low-cost legal advice and assistance across a broad range of legal issues including employment rights, business law, special education needs, property and environmental law, welfare rights and tribunal and court representation. We are looking at ways to promote awareness of this service to Care Leavers in our local community and already have established link with our local authorities in terms of referrals to our services. Students volunteers at Nottingham Law School at NTU gain practical knowledge by providing the local community with legal advice, while supervised by qualified Centre staff. The Legal Advice Centre is committed to ensuring we have a diverse student volunteer base, including care leavers. It also offers work experience opportunities and skills training as part of the Pathway to Law programme for post-16 students (care leavers are a priority group for this programme).
NTU provides a distinguished lecture series on a broad range of subjects which are open to the public to attend and are also accessible to view online after the event. We are also host to a range of different music events delivered by the NTU choir and Orchestra or external musicians which are open to the public. Members of the public are also able to join the NTU choir. We are looking ways to inform the local community of our events programme.
NTU also has its own gallery which is open to the public and hosts a variety or exhibitions and also runs a Saturday morning Art Club during term-time for Year 9, 10 and 11 students. We prioritise looked after applicants for places on this scheme and are also looking into actively promoting it to Virtual School contacts during our next recruitment phase.
We offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities for students to take part in. Students can volunteer locally with a variety of civil society organisations, such as Age UK, Notts Refugee Forum and Notts Wildlife Trust, to support their work. Our International Volunteering programme enables students to take part in volunteering abroad, contributing to the impact our charity partners are making in countries like Romania, Guatemala and Fiji. Care Leavers who are in receipt of the NTU Bursary are eligible for a discount on the International Volunteering Project costs.
Our NTU Sport volunteering programmes use the power of sport to transform the lives of local communities, involving students in local schools and community organisations either directly using their sporting expertise, using sport as a vehicle to encourage social action or through officiating, supporting events or media related activity.
We also have a range of opportunities for staff to volunteer in the community which covers volunteering in schools, in governance, in the local community and internationally. The opportunities enable staff to support the community in a variety of voluntary roles while developing their competency-based skills. NTU grants reasonable paid time off work for staff to volunteer, in line with our employee volunteering and community engagement policy. Should any local care leaver organisations in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire need volunteers to support their work, please contact email@example.com who will be able to explore this with you”.