Beyond Care: Connecting Higher Education and Corporate Parents

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University of Leeds

Maurice Keyworth Building

Room 1.32



United Kingdom

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Event description
Regional higher education providers and Children's Social Care services will connect to support the educational progression of care leavers.

About this Event

Session background

Colleagues from within our West Yorkshire higher education provider (HEP) partners and West Yorkshire Virtual Schools have told us that they would like the partnership to host networking events for both sectors in relation to the educational progression of care experienced young people. Research tells us that improved connectivity and communication between both sectors can improve care leavers’ access to HE and their experiences of transition. This event will therefore provide the opportunity for stakeholders to be updated on each other’s roles and provisions and provide a collaborative platform for sharing evidence and good practice.

Headline features

 An information pack about the structure and offer of each HEP and Local Authority (LA) for each delegate

 Research presentation from Dr Gary Walker, University of Leeds

 Good practice presentations from within Children's Social Care and higher education

 Facilitator-led carousel to support both sectors to discuss needs and opportunities

Prior to the event

Delegates will receive a pack of information about each HEP and LA compiled by Go Higher West Yorkshire (GHWY). This will contain an outline of each institution/organisation’s:

o Organisational structure

o Local Offer for care leavers (LAs)

o Care Leaver Covenant offer (HEPs)

We will hear best practice from the following sector representatives:

Dr Gary Walker, Teaching Fellow (Child and Family Studies) at University of Leeds

Gary will report on findings of a small-scale study he conducted with Sharon Pinkney (Leeds Trinity University) investigating the experiences of care experienced young people in relation to higher education in England. The research shows that success depends on a complexity of internal and external factors such as ongoing support characterised by genuine concern, warmth and knowledge of the young person. This support needs to be non-judgemental, providing practical help as well as emotional support, and combined with the student’s own agency, resilience, internal drive and determination, it provides a powerful set of factors that underpin success within higher education for care experienced students.

Donna Heppenstall, Specialist Leaving Care Worker at Wakefield Council

Donna will share her knowledge and experiences of supporting young care leavers to access higher education. This will include the challenges care leavers can face and her reflections on successful strategies to enable smooth transitions.

Ben Haddock, Money Advice and Hardship Manager at University of Bradford

University of Bradford is one of eight higher education providers in England participating in the NNECL Quality Framework Pilot. Ben will share some of the work the University has been doing during the early stages of this pilot and how they hope it will support care leavers' access to HE and their success as students.

Facilitator-led carousel

HEPs will group into the following three categories:

o College-based provision: Bradford College, Calderdale College, Kirklees College. Leeds City College and Wakefield College

o Small and specialist provision: Leeds Arts University, Leeds College of Building, Leeds College of Music, Leeds Trinity University

o University-based provision: University of Bradford, University of Huddersfield, University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University

Staff from each Local Authority will be grouped together into three groups according to numbers on the day and will rotate between the three HEP groups.

A GHWY facilitator will lead discussion and guide each HEP and LA to briefly share one relevant ‘headline’ about their structure/offer to care leavers. A short series of discussion points will follow, tailored towards the nature and context of each group of HEPs. This will include:

o What HEPs need/want from LAs

o What LAs need/want from HEPs

o What further collaboration could support these needs?

Intended audience

GHWY would like this event to provide value for representatives from both sectors at a strategic and operational level.

Relevant representatives from Local Authorities may include the following:

o Virtual School Headteachers and coordinators

o Leaving care team/service leaders and workers

o Other staff with responsibility for care leaver learning and work outcomes

Relevant representatives from HEPs may include the following:

o Leaders responsible for care leaver student access, success and progression

o Staff who work directly with care leaver students/prospective students at an operational/delivery level

In the first instance each Local Authority and HEP will be offered three places each. It is envisaged that more places will become available for any organization/institution wishing to send more than three representatives.

Logistical arrangements

The Maurice Keyworth building is approx. 25 minutes walking from Leeds train station. Frequent local buses are available.

Parking is not available on site, however there are a number of paid parking alternatives nearby.

A breakfast of fruit and pastries will be available to delegates on arrival.

We aim to finish by 13:00. There will be an opportunity to informally network for a further 15 minutes in our booked room, or longer if delegates utilise the refreshment facilities in the building.

The room and building is wheelchair accessible. If you have any access requirements please indicate this during booking.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Date and Time


University of Leeds

Maurice Keyworth Building

Room 1.32



United Kingdom

View Map

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