Featured Signatory Offer Details

Kingston University

Care Leaver Covenant and Voluntary Sector Case Study

Care Leaver Covenant and Voluntary Sector Case Study

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Specific Offers to Care Leavers

1. Student

Kingston University has a long standing commitment to supporting the diverse needs of our disadvantaged/under-represented students. We have pioneered sector-leading work, including our KU Cares programme which involves supporting some of our most vulnerable student groups (including care leavers) and our work to reduce the BME attainment gap.

KU Cares is situated within a comprehensive programme of outreach, transitional guidance and inclusive support for groups under-represented in Higher Education (HE). It provides a package of pastoral guidance, targeted interventions and financial support for care-experienced students, alongside other vulnerable groups. KU Cares takes an entire student lifecycle approach to supporting access, progression and success. 

An overview of our programme of support includes;

Accommodation

  • Priority for halls of residence accommodation
  • A fee waiver for halls of residence
  • 365 day accommodation available where required with financial support available to support students staying on over the summer period

Finance

  • £1500 bursary per year (each progressive year or if a student is repeating with mitigating circumstances)
  • Priority for a £2000 Kingston Bursary
  •  £1000 Graduation Bursary
  • Signposting to generic University hardship support
  • Access to KU Cares specific hardship funds and support for students who require extra finance for study or field trips

Support

  • x2 full-time Designated members of staff whose sole role is to support
  • Advocacy (internally with other University support and academic departments and externally with local authorities to ensure that students are in receipt of statutory entitlements)
  • Attachment, the go to person for support and advice and in a crisis.
  • Regular 1 to 1’s
  • A KU Cares Network for peer support within the Students Union
  • An allocated personal tutor who is made aware of the students KU Cares status and receives training on what the barriers or challenges these students might face are.

Opportunities

  • Mentoring
  • Transitional buddy scheme as an incoming student with a current KU Cares student for their transition into University until the end of their first semester.
  • Priority group for Beyond Barriers Mentoring Programme, where students are partnered with alumni and other successful local successful business people.
  • Employability/ Work Experience
  • A designated member of staff within the Careers and Employability Service who can support KU Cares students
  • Paid work experience placements ring fenced for KU Cares students within departments across the University
  • Opportunity to meet and link up with Alumni and other successful business people
  • Signposting to activities and events held internally and externally such as the Drive Forward Foundation
  • Enrichment
  • Financial support for opportunities such as study abroad and field and study trips
  • Promotion of, support in applying and automatic interview for Student Ambassador Scheme, student consultants and other programmes
  • Opportunity to become a KU Cares Media Ambassador, this role is paid and the students are fully trained in media training, using their own experiences and skill sets to their advantage, as well as developing key skills like resilience. This has involved meeting with Government Ministers, Alumni and key stakeholders including those who wish to donate funds to the University.
  • Opportunity to earn additional points towards their Kingston Award.

Graduation

  • A £1000 Graduation Bursary to support students in their transition out of University (as mentioned previously in finance)
  • A complimentary gown hire and photography package
  • X2 complimentary tickets to their graduation ceremony
  • Invitation to attend a KU Cares Graduation meal with the graduating cohort of students and designated members of staff
  • Designated member of staff will attend the graduation ceremony of those who would like them to attend

 

2. A Robust Employment Offer

The University is currently undergoing a review of its professional and support services, colleagues and departments have shown an interest in developing ring fenced opportunities for care leavers which we intend to explore as soon as we have the opportunity to do so.

Initially the KU Cares Team, did a mind mapping activity to look specifically at Pillar 3 and the support that we could offer to young people within the community. A number of potential opportunities were identified such as discounted gym membership, access to Kingston Language Schemes, however, prior to exploration it was decided that a more formal approach was required.

A paper has been written which is being presenting to the University’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee outlining the requirements of the Covenant and requests the endorsement of the Committee that this is in line with the University’s commitment to supporting care experienced students. The Paper requests that the Committee endorse the development of a Care Leaver Covenant Task and Finish Group to fulfil the requirements. The Group will also support the approach of a  number of departments, in consultation with HR to assess the possibility of offering ring fenced work opportunities to care leavers and to investigate and develop a series of opportunities for local care leavers to engage with the University on a civic basis.

3. Community

The University is currently undergoing a review of its professional and support services, colleagues and departments have shown an interest in developing ring fenced opportunities for care leavers which we intend to explore as soon as we have the opportunity to do so.

Initially the KU Cares Team, did a mind mapping activity to look specifically at Pillar 3 and the support that we could offer to young people within the community. A number of potential opportunities were identified such as discounted gym membership, access to Kingston Language Schemes, however, prior to exploration it was decided that a more formal approach was required.

A paper has been written which is being presenting to the University’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee outlining the requirements of the Covenant and requests the endorsement of the Committee that this is in line with the University’s commitment to supporting care experienced students. The Paper requests that the Committee endorse the development of a Care Leaver Covenant Task and Finish Group to fulfil the requirements. The Group will also support the approach of a  number of departments, in consultation with HR to assess the possibility of offering ring fenced work opportunities to care leavers and to investigate and develop a series of opportunities for local care leavers to engage with the University on a civic basis.

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