Featured Signatory Offer Details

 

University of Salford

To prioritise Salford Advantage bursaries (£1000 per annum) and Salford Support Fund monies to care leavers to both reward aspiration and to help students where in real need

 

1. Student

We the University of Salford will demonstrate our commitment to the Care Leaver Covenant through the following actions:

  • The first pillar, around the student lifecycle is already embedded into the work the University of Salford. Care Experienced young people are a target group in our outreach work; they are recipients of University funding (dedicated care experienced bursary). All students are contacted by a dedicated trained team in askUS (our front-line staff team in Support Services) before they arrive and throughout their time at university. Additionally, the university is a member of all the appropriate partnerships and good practice forums, both nationally and regionally. We are a member of NNECL and contribute staff time to the charity. We are also involved in piloting the upcoming NNECL Quality Mark in Greater Manchester, part of which is a commitment to the Care Leaver Covenant. Both the Care Leaver Covenant and the NNECL Quality Mark commitments will be integral to ensuring our support in this area is the very best

    Pledges 1-18 Demonstrating our Commitment to the Student Lifecycle:

    1. To support care experienced young people to fulfil their potential by working in close partnership with local authorities, Virtual School Heads, Designated Teachers, residential unit staff, foster carers, other universities and colleges, local and national charities and other professions that work with people in care in a way to provide the best opportunities for care experienced young people to access higher education and enhance outcomes. This includes delivering training on the higher education experience to all these groups if required and being an active member of the Greater Manchester Care Experienced Education Partnership and Greater Manchester Higher’s work on care experienced young people. We believe to change lives and outcomes we all need to work together.

    2. To contact and provide information to all care experienced applicants who have disclosed their status via UCAS and registration or by direct application, about the support we provide as soon as possible after application. To provide advice and support throughout this transition period.

    3. To encourage disclosure so that we can provide support as early as possible and to ensure that they understand that this information is confidential and that we will only share after asking them.

    4. To make available our Careers Consultants and appropriate academic staff at the University if possible, to all young people in care if they require advice and guidance, even before they apply to University.

    5. Engage, continue membership and support the work of the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL) and its regional group in the North (NorthCLASS) and sub groups in Greater Manchester to ensure the education and the progression of care experienced young people is a priority for all stakeholders we work with. The University of Salford is proud to be a founding member of NNECL, involved in the pilot project for the NNECL Quality Mark in Greater Manchester and an early adopter of the Care Leaver Covenant.

    6. To ensure that all open days and applicant days are promoted and accessible to care experienced young people and to provide bespoke open days for care experienced young people annually with our partners at Greater Manchester Higher. Additionally, we will promote and provide individual open days for people from care who would prefer this to a group open day and events.

    7. To continue to support and be actively involved in organising the annual Greater Manchester Care Leaver Awards, which was started by the four universities in Manchester and has grown into a huge event celebrating the amazing successes of care leavers in all areas of life across Greater Manchester

    8. Work with Children in Care Councils to promote educational opportunities and care experienced people in Greater Manchester.

    9. Work to support the Greater Manchester Combined Authorities ‘Care Leaver Offer’, which is championed by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.

    10. In recognising that care experienced young people are not always ready for university at eighteen, we will ensure that university support is available to care leavers when they are ready, whatever age they may be. We will also review age restrictions on financial support, currently set at 25.

    11. To prioritise flexible accommodation options, in association with our accommodation provider/s, so that care leavers have a place to call home for the duration of their study if necessary. To provide help with setting up their accommodation if necessary, and to provide help and information with regard to the cost of moving into accommodation. To

    liaise with accommodation providers with any ongoing issues and problems they may

    face. To help with the cost of guaranteeing their accommodation choice.

    1. To work with the person’s local authority to ensure that university and local authority

      support is aligned. To work together for the best outcomes for the young person’s future career and life. To promote joint working in Pathway Planning for young people at University.

    2. To provide Care Experienced Bursaries (£1000 per annum with eligibility criteria) and prioritised Salford Support fund monies to care experienced people to both reward aspiration and to help students when in real need. To provide money and budgeting advice so that care leavers at the university can make the most of their money and are prepared for their future lives.

    3. To provide named contacts for care experienced people to go to and to ensure that this is promoted on the care leaver web pages for the University (www.askus.salford.ac.uk/page/care_leaver ), via the Propel website and at agencies that work with care experienced people. These people will regularly promote opportunities to student care leavers that could enhance their University life and future careers.

    4. To actively promote the success of our care leavers and graduates and to provide role models for other young people to achieve.

    5. To raise awareness and provide training to staff so that we all understand the barriers that care experienced people may face, and so they know how to refer on for specific support if necessary.

    6. To recognise that graduation and beyond can be problematic for care leavers. On this ‘happy’ day they can lose their (corporate) parent’s support, their accommodation; and they may have to find a graduate job quickly without being able to rely on parents. The University will commit to staying in contact with its care leavers helping and advising through their careers and following their successes in their future life’s.

    7. To treat care leavers as individuals, treating them with respect. To recognise that being a care leaver is not a stigma but something that is just one part of them that cannot be changed.

 
 
 
 

2. A Robust Employment Offer

This pillar is mostly new to the University sector, so in it we set out what we do already, what we want to achieve in 2020/21 academic year, and our longer-term plans. We have worked on this closely with Next Steps in Salford, the local Leaving Care Team and plan to continue to work together on delivering this, but for all initiatives they could be rolled out across Greater Manchester if needed. The work here will best be looked at over several different experiences and starting points from Graduates to NEET, recognising that the needs for local care leavers are different.

Pledge 1: Work Readiness:

a. Currently we:

  1. Work with local authorities on an ad hoc basis to understand the skills that care leavers have, not just for university, but for upskilling, and work preparation

  2. Work in partnership with Pure Innovation/ Eccles College/ SCC on a ‘Universities Supported Internship Programme’ in which Care Leavers have priority. We recognise that care leavers make up a large proportion of young people in Salford with learning difficulties which we address by this scheme. This year we will be looking at the outcomes of the programme to ensure that the transition steps to paid employment are robust.

  1. By the end of 2020/21 academic year, we plan to have in place:

    1. An annual Greater Manchester HEI ‘From Care to Work Day’ with the other HEI’s (and possibly FE) in Greater Manchester similar to what we do for year 11 & 12 students in the annual ‘Step Up to Uni’ (Greater Manchester Higher), but with the emphasis on preparing for work.

    2. Working with Salford City Council, we will have completed an evaluation of skills and passions of the NEET young people in Salford to see if programmes that are suitable for them can be run in the future. There is little point of running traineeships and taster days if these do not match the ambitions of the young people, so it will be wise to do some groundwork to look at what is needed initially.

  2. In the longer term we hope to achieve:

i. A programme on employability skills for NEET care experienced young people in Salford from the information gained from the above action if this was seen as appropriate. This would run once day a week over several weeks and will be incentivised by the Leaving Care Team, Next Steps, (no change in benefits or payments, free bus passes) and the university (lunches, space, Careers Consultants time, money to buy work clothes. Jointly run by Salford City Council and Salford University (Careers, SEE) and maybe a guest employer, this could include interview skills, CV writing, guest speakers (sourced by Alumni team) and the young person could at the end be matched up with an employability mentor, either from university staff or an organisation that has a relationship with the university.

Pledge 2: Work Experience

d. Currently:

i. The University of Salford is unique in that its Careers Service is open to care experienced people of any age for advice. This will be continued and promoted more widely in Greater Manchester.

e. By the end of 2020/21 academic year, we plan to have in place:

i. An action plan based on the skills analysis work above of the types of work experience that would be most useful for local care experienced people. This will be co-created with Salford City Council’s Next Step team.

f. In the longer term we hope to achieve:

i. Successful implementation of the above action plan.
i. Possible Involvement of university partners such as SalFOOD in a hospitality course/ apprenticeship etc for care leavers.

Pledge 3: Entry level Jobs

g. Currently:

I. The University of Salford employs very few people at entry level grades (below Grade 5) so the opportunities at present are limited. Human Resources are currently having conversations with Salford City Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority regarding successful Positive Action schemes specifically for care leavers that they have adopted with the view of doing the same at the University.

  1. By the end of 2020/21 academic year, we plan to have in place:

    1. Entry level roles at the university (Grades 1 – 4) are promoted early to

      Greater Manchester local authorities and Virtual Schools.

    2. A work mentor trained in the barriers care leavers face and to act as a

      buddy to care leavers employed by the University. Eventually the mentoring role would be offered to a care experienced employee to mentor new care experienced staff.

    3. Apprenticeships – either ones that the university run as an employer or Higher Apprenticeships it runs as a university – are promoted early to GM local authorities – Leaving Care Teams and Virtual Schools via pre- established contacts.

  2. In the longer term we hope to achieve:

i. Depending on the outcome of (g.) above, work trials or guaranteed

interviews for these as is done in the local authority.

Pledge 4: Current University of Salford Students (Employability)

a. Currently:

  1. Common Purpose Programme targeted to care experienced students and other groups with proven low outcome) as one of their priorities

    commonpurpose.org/locations/common-purpose-uk/

  2. Continue to train care experienced students as paid University Ambassadors. Guaranteed employment to all care leavers who want it to hold this role.

  3. Care leavers are targeted in our Graduate Internship Scheme (available to current students) (www.salford.ac.uk/askus/work-and- careers/search-for-a-jobfind-a-placement/paid-internship-opportunities- for-students-and-graduates)

b. By the end of 2020/21 academic year, we plan to have in place:
i. In Year 2 & 3, care experienced students encouraged to join a suitable employability mentoring programme, where they will be mentored by someone in industry. This could form a specific strand on an existing programme run by the University.

  1. A dedicated Careers Consultant trained to work with care experienced

    people whilst at university. Training for this role will be provided by Salford City Council & the University’s Student Inclusion & Diversity Manager

  2. Encouraging care experienced students on courses where placements are non-mandatory, to undertake them. This includes outward mobility opportunities as part of the University’s ‘Go International’ programme

c. In the longer term we hope to achieve:

  1. A peer mentor for the first year of university to settle in and start helping with the process of thinking about the future

  2. Possibility to be explored of paid Summer internships for a care experienced or estranged students.

Pledge 5: Graduation & Beyond (Employability)

a. Currently:
i. Continue to target and promote the university internship programme to care experienced and estranged students. (www.salford.ac.uk/askus/work-and-careers/search-for-a-jobfind-a- placement/paid-internship-opportunities-for-students-and-graduates)

b. By the end of 2020/21 academic year, we plan to have in place:

  1. Use successful care experienced graduates as role models and promote this widely both externally and internally.

  2. Revisiting the summer post-graduation 3-day programme for care experienced and estranged students that offers attendance at a course of employability skills which includes networking skills, in return for a graduation bursary of £300 to buy work -related clothes or equipment.

  3. Explore the possibility of a potential Postgraduate paid work experience opportunity,

  4. A Care leaver and Estranged student graduation meal in recognition that very often the day isn’t a celebration as it should be.

 
 
 
 
 

3. Community

Pillar 3: The University and Local Community

Social Responsibility is an important area for the University and as an institution; we strive to make a positive difference to the life and future of our region. This is detailed in our Social Impact report – www.salford.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/1832987/1205_Social- Impact-Report_Digital.pdf , which mentions the lack of social capital that care experienced people have and some of the things that we are doing to address this. Our first mission statement in our strategy is ‘Transforming Lives’. We need to consider what more we can do to ensure care experienced people and their key influencers are made aware of the opportunities which already exist, and how they can benefit from some of the structural and cultural capital that the University has. We already have and will continue:

  1. To have an open access Library, and to encourage local care leavers to feel comfortable using it. Promote this service to local authorities.

  2. To work in partnership with Greater Manchester local authorities to provide opportunities for care experienced people and their supporters and to visit the university and feel included in university life (e.g. visits by the Children’s Rights Councils, foster carers, local authority groups, public lectures, bespoke open days and applicant days for care experienced people etc.

  3. To hold conferences around being in care for young people and use of venues and space for free (e.g. the annual ‘Planting Seeds Conference for Trafford Council).

    b. By the end of 2020/21 academic we plan to have in place:

    1. Promoting and targeting existing Social Responsibility university work to care leavers and to ensure that that they are always considered.

    2. Explore if we can make the Podiatry Clinic and other health related clinics accessible for care leavers free of charge

c. In the longer term we hope to achieve:
iii. Explore if there is scope for local care leavers to use the university’s

leisure and cultural facilities (free or discounted).
i. Law Clinics specialising in care leaver/ estranged/ homelessness related issues.

 
 
 
 

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