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Care Leavers

At Futureworks we want to create a warm and friendly learning environment that welcomes, and is accepting of, students of all backgrounds and capabilities and we are committed to developing and maintaining a community in which everyone is treated fairly.

The legal definition of a care leaver comes from The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 which states that a Care Leaver is someone who has been in the care of the Local Authority for a period of 13 weeks or more spanning their 16th birthday.

Our definition is more simple – anyone who has spent time in care during their lives.

We know that Higher Education is not for everyone but we want everyone to have the option to decide for themselves.

If you decide that Higher Education is for you then there is support available – you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to – it’s entirely your decision.


Who to contact

We will always have a named contact from the Student Services team that can help you throughout your time at Futureworks.

If you are a prospective or current student, you can reach our Welfare Officer (Leanne) directly via email [email protected] or call 0161 214 4610.

Our Welfare Officer can:

  • Help you with the application process
  • Help you to enrol onto your chosen course
  • Help navigate any support services such as the counselling service
  • Help and advice applying for Disabled Students Allowance if applicable
  • Arrange for someone to help you move into your student accommodation
  • Advise on financial support available
  • Provide a listening ear and 1-1 confidential support meetings throughout your time at Futureworks

Application Support

We know that applying for a degree can be daunting and we offer a range of support to help you.

We offer individual tours if you are unable to come along to one of our open days or if you are attending on your own, we can arrange for someone to meet you at the door and help you with where you need to go on the day – they can even walk around with you if you don’t want to be on your own. Just get in touch with our named contact above and we can arrange it for you.

We know that completing your application may be tricky as there are many different aspects to getting it right. Your school/college should be able to help you with this but there is useful information on UCAS for care experience students.

If you are worried about what to put in your Personal Statement here is some good advice on UCAS. The main thing we are looking for in your Personal Statement is passion and enthusiasm about the subject and course you are applying for. Tell us why you love it and what you’re looking forward to learning about.

All applicants declaring care leaver status will be offered an interview, regardless of meeting the required UCAS tariff threshold as long as their Personal Statement shows interest in the course and subject and their application is eligible (i.e. you are not an International student who needs a visa to study in the UK).

Most of our courses require an interview before an offer is given but this isn’t something to worry about as our interviews are informal and are a good chance for you to get a feel of Futureworks and ask any questions you may have about the course and life at Futureworks – it’s also a great opportunity to make sure that the course is right for you.

Our art-based courses (BA (Hons) Game Art, BA (Hons) Games Design & BA (Hons) Digital Animation with Illustration) require portfolios prior to interview. This is a great chance to show off your art skills and for the interviewer to find out more about you. Don’t worry about putting your portfolio together – we do not expect perfection! We are looking for passion, enthusiasm and for you to be able to talk about how and why you have created your art.

Offer Support

Care leavers will be made offers based on interview/portfolio, rather than the meeting the required UCAS tariff threshold so it’s important for you to prepare and think about what you want to say at your interview.

Once you have received an offer you will need to decide if you want to accept it. You will need to log in to your UCAS account and make Futureworks your firm choice.

UCAS have lots of great information about accepting offers.

If you let us know that you have accepted your offer we can arrange for you to chat to our Student Welfare Officer and your Programme Leader about any support that we can put in place for you for when you start your course.

You will also be invited to our Running Start event which usually takes place the week before enrolment (late August). This event is designed to make you feel more confident about starting your studies with us and also gives you the opportunity to meet other students prior to enrolment.

Enrolment Support

Enrolment is the process through which you officially become a student at Futureworks. It is where we gather information about you and register you on our systems, and where you find out everything you need to know in order to begin your studies.

The process of enrolling involves us collecting certain information about you and seeing certain documentation. Parts of enrolment can be completed online, but others need to be done in person at Futureworks.

You can find more information about what you need to prepare for enrolment here

Futureworks also holds an event called “Running Start”. This is an event to help students enrol onto their course in a more relaxed and quieter environment, and to help you get to know Futureworks before you start studying with us.

You may wish to attend Running Start due to mental health conditions such as anxiety or because you need more time to complete paperwork and process information. As well as this, you may simply feel happier and more confident in a quieter environment. You may also be a mature student who has been out of education for a long time, new to the UK or a care-experienced student. The event will talk you through all stages of enrolment and help you do any forms / paperwork that you need to complete.

Our Running Start event usually takes place during the daytime the week before enrolment week in September (so two weeks before your course starts). Attending this is optional, and you may wish to attend our standard enrolment instead.

If you would like to attend Running Start or would like more information, please get in touch at [email protected] or call 0161 214 4610 and speak to our Welfare Officer.

Wellbeing Support

Care leavers will be invited to individual support meeting offered with our Welfare Officer prior to the start of course & regular support meetings scheduled for the duration of study. These meetings are not compulsory and it is your choice whether to accept them or not, but we would encourage at least one meeting with our Welfare Officer at the start of your course. Transitioning to University can be a big change and we know that care leavers may need a little bit of support, advice, guidance and information to help you with problems or issues that you may encounter.

You will also be offered an automatic referral to our Counselling Service to help with your transition into Higher Education. This is entirely optional and the invitation is open for the duration of your studies if you don’t feel you need this support when you join us.

We understand that some students prefer to have a fresh start, and might not want to be ‘labelled’ as care experienced. However, only your named contact (Welfare Officer) will know, unless you want us to tell anyone else.

It is up to you how much or how little contact / support you want from us. We will regularly keep in touch if this works for you, or we will occasionally check in and tell you about any support or new opportunities.

Care leavers are exempt from certain course costs, such as educational trips and consumables. This will vary per course so please with our Welfare Officer about this directly.

Financial Support

We also offer financial support to care leavers, you can see the full range of them on our Financial Support pages

As a care leaver, you’ll be classed as an ‘independent student’ and so household income won’t be taken into account when working out how much student finance you can get. You will need to provide evidence of this when you apply. You may also be entitled to study money from your Local Authority and any financial support or agreements about purchasing equipment, books etc should be written into your Pathway Plan.

For more information see here

Graduation Support

Care leavers have an option to be provided with an Alumni Mentor for a 6-month period (3 months before graduating, 3 months after). We will contact you in your final year of study to find out if you would like to access this support – as with all support, this is not compulsory and it is entirely your choice.

Other Sources of Support

“Is HE for me?” on Propel

Help with applying on Propel

The National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL)

If you would like to talk with other Care leavers you might like This is Us – it’s an online community for care experienced and estranged students in Higher Education