University pledges to help care leavers succeed and thrive

Two students working in a lecture space.

The initiative aims to ensure those leaving care have the necessary support and opportunities to succeed and thrive.

  • 31 October 2019
  • 2 min read

The University of Portsmouth has signed up to the Care Leavers Covenant to help care leavers participate in higher education and succeed at university.

The Care Leavers Covenant is a Department for Education initiative that has been established to improve support to young people aged 16-25 leaving care. The initiative aims to harness the expertise and resources of businesses, education providers and charities to ensure those leaving care have the necessary support and opportunities to succeed and thrive. 

The University of Portsmouth has now joined over 50 organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors who have committed their support to the initiative to date.

By signing this covenant, we are committing to continue to support these young people and provide them with a wide range of opportunities as they leave care to help them achieve their aspirations.

Professor Paul Hayes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Through the University’s commitment to the Care Leaver Covenant it will offer a targeted package of financial, educational, employment and welfare support to care leavers including:

• Care Leaver Bursary of £1,700 per annum offered to students who meet qualifying criteria. These students are also a priority for University Support Funds and regular budgeting support.

• A named Personal Support Adviser (PSA) who is available to students pre-entry and while studying to liaise with other support services and signpost/refer when necessary.

• Guaranteed place in University Halls of Residence for 52 weeks of the year should the student require it. The University also works collaboratively with Unite Students who offer scholarships of a free Halls place for the duration of a student’s course.

• Designated webpage outlining the financial and housing support available to Care Leavers.

• A new career mentoring programme will be launched in collaboration with local employers targeting students in receipt of bursaries including Care Leavers.

• Working collaboratively with the Southern Universities Network (SUN) to narrow the attainment gap in the SUN region for looked after children, supporting school strategic priorities.

Professor Paul Hayes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, said: “We already provide support to care leavers to get into and succeed at the University. By signing this covenant, we are committing to continue to support these young people and provide them with a wide range of opportunities as they leave care to help them achieve their aspirations.”

If you would like more information about the University of Portsmouth’s Care Leavers Covenant, please contact Rachael Lyons (Head of Student Finance) at Rachael.Lyons@port.ac.uk or 02392 843 413.

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