Featured Signatory Offer Details

Bedford College

Specific Offers to Care Leavers

1. Student

The College has a close working relationship with Virtual School and personal advisers to help identify and provide a cohesive support for care leavers. Regular meetings take place with virtual school heads and we are also working to create stronger relationships with neighboring authorities.

Although the college does not have a contextual admissions process for care leavers, we will look to support learners on their chosen course and take each individual on a case-by-case basis. The progression guarantee offered by the college allows full time students who successfully complete their level 3 course a guaranteed place on the course for that subject at higher level (Level 4).

Care leavers are identified at enrolment and recruitment stages, and information is provided to their dedicated Personal Achievement Tutors to provide personalised support.

Dedicated Personal Achievement Tutors to provide weekly tutorial sessions, as well as 1-2-1 guidance and pastoral support, money management and independent living throughout the academic year. Personal Achievement Tutors are specifically trained to support care leavers. Specific staff within the Students Services Team are also trained to support care leavers. Student Achievement and Wellbeing Manager are the first point of contact for care leavers. Care leavers attending any Bedfordshire campus can contact Saima Nasir on 01234 291915, for Northamptonshire campuses, care leavers can contact Naj Mistry on 01536 413059.

The college has a dedicated teacher for LAC and care leavers, who is also a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA). There is a team of 34 MHFA across the college group and inclusion of Care leavers support to staff is documented within all bulletins.

College welcome days take place at all campuses to ensure a smooth transition from school/NEET to college. Bespoke induction events can also be organised upon request.

There is a LAC Policy to support learners.

The Student Services Careers team meet with all LAC/care leavers learners 3 times throughout the year to ensure specific careers advice and guidance/additional support. Drop in sessions are also available for learners.

Bedford College Group offers means tested bursaries based on household income. A hardship fund is also available. This is discretionary, and applications are considered based on individual need, but special considerations is given to care leavers.

We provide care leavers with opportunities to experience new opportunities through enhancement events and events calendar. We encourage all learners to participate and Personal Achievement Tutors will provide direct signposting for events relevant to Care leavers.

Access to college Counselling services, with priority status given care leavers

Care leavers receive an additional 10% discount at the Hair and Beauty Services at Kettering, Corby and Bedford sites.

Students each have a work placement coordinator to support with job searches, application process, CV writing as well as Student Service Coordinators to provide mock interviews, presentations skills and a range of other job related options.

Weekly monitoring of attendance and central tracking of progress to ensure early intervention.

Destinations obtained in March and Personal Achievement Tutors and Student Services work with the student to achieve these and to raise aspirations.

Additional Learning Support Team available for students with learning needs.

Wellbeing zone available to all students.

The Student Services Team are qualified to level 6 Careers, Advice and Guidance level and provide high quality impartial advice to students, which continues after finishing study.

Careers fairs and careers month are held yearly with the opportunity to meet a range of employers/trainers and HE providers and visiting guest speakers and external agencies

Invite of employers to meet students where they have vacancies

Work Placement Coordinators to support care leavers with opportunities to enter the world of work through work experience placements

Employment offers accessed via Student Services, Personal Achievement Tutors and attending careers fairs and careers month.

2. A Robust Employment Offer

The College is willing to explore the possibility of care leavers/NEET learners completing volunteering/work experience within the college.

Work Placement Coordinators to support care leavers with opportunities to enter the world of work through work experience placements

3. Community

Work Placement coordinators work closely with employers to support learners and source appropriate placement.

Careers Month takes place in March, with Career Fairs taking place in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire with a number of local and National employers, Higher education and training providers present.

Totum Student Union discount card, with access to a range of discounts.

Care leavers in the community can access the heavily discounted Hair and Beauty Treatments available at the Bedford, Kettering and Corby campuses.

Invite of employers to meet students where they have vacancies Fresher’s Fair with over 100 stalls

Community projects, advertised locally and linked with the Princes Trust