Higher Education: Care Leavers:Written question - 278347

Asked by Steve McCabe
(Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Department for Education
Higher Education: Care Leavers
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the number of care leavers (a) accessing and (b) completing a higher education award.
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 24 July 2019

The government is committed to improving the outcomes of care leavers. To support this, in March 2019, the department published a set of principles to guide the higher education sector on improving care leavers’ access and participation. A copy of the principles is available at the following link: https://mycovenant.org.uk/featured-signatories/educational/.

As part of its drive to galvanise the support that wider civil society can provide to support care leavers, the government has launched the Care Leaver Covenant. This asks organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors, including higher education providers, to commit to help care leavers to successfully transition from care to independence, by setting out clearly what support they can offer.

17 higher education providers have already signed the covenant and published their offers on the covenant website: https://mycovenant.org.uk/offers/educational/.

We want all higher education providers to work with Spectra First (the delivery partner appointed by the department to promote the covenant), which provides support in developing offers, with a view to them signing the covenant. To support this, we are organising a workshop with Universities UK and Spectra First in September, for higher education providers who are yet to sign. The event will make clear why they should support care leavers and provide examples of best practice on how they can do this.

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