Improving Support for Care Leavers in Higher Education


  • Philip Bakstad, National Network for the Education of Care Leavers, National Strategy Group
  • Kirsty McQueen, Senior Engagement Advisor, Care Leaver Covenant (Spectra First)
  • Beth Taswell, Access and Support Officer (KU Cares), Kingston University
  • Dr Lorna Goodwin, Executive Director, First Star Academies UK
  • Amy Woodworth, Policy & Campaigns Officer, Become
  • Becca Bland, Chief Executive, Stand Alone


Care leavers are among the most vulnerable young people in society. The challenges they face when progressing to higher education have been identified as an area of focus by the Universities Minister and the Office for Students. HE providers must commit to help care leavers successfully transition from care to independence, by setting out clearly what support and guidance they can offer.

Attend this Westminster Briefing for an overview of the latest government and OfS plans in this area, including their expectations of providers and an update on the Care Leaver Covenant. Delegates will then hear from institutions who are making these expectations a reality: taking exceptional steps to promote a welcoming culture for care leavers and prioritising their support from senior leadership down.

Key Issues to be Addressed:

  • The Government’s principles for improved support for care leavers & the responsibilities of HEIs
  • Role of Office for Students: care leavers as a target group for Fair Access
  • Combatting loneliness and isolation to overcome mental health challenges and improve retention
  • Creating smooth and supported pathways to HE
  • Delivering a comprehensive offer: support from pre-application to post-graduation
  • Addressing barriers to student success

About the Day:

The morning session will focus on the government guidelines to improve outcomes for care leavers in higher education and the impact of the regulatory framework on student social mobility and the OfS commitment through Access and Participation Plans to tackle barriers and gaps.

The afternoon session will explore best practice in widening participation and providing comprehensive support for looked after children. Attendees will hear from leading institutions who are taking innovative approaches. 

Who Should Attend?

Anyone with an interest in widening participation in HE and supporting care leavers, including those working in: widening participation & outreach teams; admissions; community engagement; student services & student unions.

Morning refreshments will be served upon arrival with a networking lunch to follow. Any special needs or dietary requirements should be notified to us upon booking.

The event is CPD certified, and a certificate is available confirming your attendance.

For registration enquiries please contact: | 0207 593 5657

To discuss event sponsorship, speaking opportunities and agenda content, please email:

Tuesday 2nd July 2019

11.00am - 3.30pm (including networking lunch)

Private Sector | 1 Place: £345 | 2+ Places: £295 each


Public Sector & Not for Profit | 1 Place: £255 | 2+ Places: £205 each


Prices above exclude VAT

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