Waltham Forest College plays a key role in raising the educational development, progression opportunities and the improvement of life chances for all learners.
Raising levels of achievement has been strongly and clearly highlighted as a major part of improving the life chances for care leavers as nationally, there is considerable educational under-achievement for certain vulnerable groups when compared with their peers. The College will ensure a robustness of systems and procedures which are aimed at supporting and tackling the causes of social exclusion through careful planning, monitoring and evaluation for vulnerable groups.
Waltham Forest College defines a care leaver as a person aged 25 or under who has been looked after by a local authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14; and who was looked after by the local authority at school‐leaving age or after that date. Between the ages of 16 to 18 a young person who has been looked after will be expected to begin the transition towards independent living to become a young care leaver.
Waltham Forest College has a range of support structures in place that will play a crucial role in the academic achievement and social development of looked after care leavers.
- An advocate for looked after children and care leavers that implements a positive system of support structure
- The delivery of high-quality, impartial careers information, advice and guidance
- Robust admissions process that identifies learners that are looked after children, care leavers and young carers
- Clear information about outreach activities that will integrate learners well into college life
- Dedicated member of staff that serve as the key contact for learners who are looked after children, care leavers and young carers. This member of staff will also provide support pre-enrolment and throughout the duration of the course
- Meetings and communication with social workers, key contacts and the students that captures the learner voice
- Targeted 1:1 support academically, pastorally and financially
- Dedicated induction to the College and a named contact for support
- The monitoring and promotion of regular attendance
- Regular communication with social workers, key workers and support agencies
- Delivering targeted workshops and seminars to raise the learner’s aspiration that prepares them well for life in modern Britain
- A dedicated enrichment service that builds the social skills of looked after children, care leavers and young carers
- Continued access to high-quality, impartial careers information, advice and guidance
- Feedback captured to drive continual improvement
- Monitoring of retention and achievement
The College provides further pastoral support to vulnerable categories, through the various mechanisms:
- Welfare support: The Welfare and Wellbeing service is accessible to care leavers who can access advice and, when necessary, referrals to multi-agencies for specialist support relating to welfare, finance, benefits, personal and pastoral concerns. We can also connect with any key professionals who are supporting care leavers and provide key updates on progress. The service is monitored using service standards and feedback on the service is captured through termly surveys and the learner voice. The explore can explore financial support through the
- Counselling: The College has qualified counsellors who provide one-to-one, confidential personal counselling to all learners. This platform offers care leavers the opportunity to safely explore personal thoughts and feelings. Anyone experiencing a ‘crisis session’ can be fast-tracked to this service alongside learners who fall into vulnerable groups.
- Safeguarding: The college is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. The BeSafe team are professional safeguarding practitioners that can assist care leavers with timely interventions to ensure they are safe from all forms of abuse. The service is promoted during inductions and the BeSafe team can be identified through a white College lanyard.
- Careers: Care leavers have access to high quality, impartial careers information, advice and guidance. This service can be accessed through Learner Services and bespoke 1:1 support can be provided to develop learners personal statementsfor university, CV writing, practise interview skills, and search and apply for work and future career prospects.
All of our services are free, confidential, impartial and non-judgmental and promoted well within induction.
2. A Robust Employment Offer
We commit to reviewing our Covenant commitment and will update this pillar in due course.
The College is based at the heart of the community and is the third biggest employer in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Whilst the College is expanding its market share in areas outside the borough, 51% of enrolments in 2018/19 came from the local geographical reach.
The College runs various community events and started a new marketing campaign “At The College” to promote services and the venue. Various Open Events takes place at the College as well as employer engagement events.
The College has many services open to the public and discounts for students some of these include:
- Discounted hair and beauty treatments through Elite Salon
- Discounted barbering services through Elite Barbers
- Mallinson Restaurant – Themed meals
- Discounted access to meat at the onsite Butchery
- Print shop – discounted rates
- Free access to the swimming pool and dedicated swimming classes for all levels
The College will be open to the idea of connecting with local communities and care leavers who may be looking to hold events or need space to conduct meetings. Also offer training and information sessions to the Local Authority on what the college offers to students / the community on request.