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Care-experienced students

Attracting more young people from a care-experienced background to further and higher education continues to be a priority for SFC, as part of our overall strategy to ensure fair access.

Widening access

We’ve worked with institutions, Universities Scotland for the sector’s use in contextualised admissions, and SFC’s Care-Experienced Governance Group to develop an inclusive definition for care-experienced.

The term care-experienced refers to anyone who has been or is currently in care or from a looked-after background at any stage in their life, no matter how short, including adopted children who were previously looked-after. This care may have been provided in a one of many different settings such as in residential care, foster care, kinship care, or through being looked-after at home with a supervision requirement.

National Ambition for Care-Experienced students

Care-experienced young people and adults are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society. SFC has a National Ambition for Care-Experienced Students [PDF] for the college and university sectors. Our National Ambition aims to address the under-representation and poor educational outcomes for this group.

Our vision is to see no difference in the outcomes between care-experienced students and
non care-experienced students by 2030.

Care-Experienced Governance Group

The Care-Experienced Governance Group (CEGG) holds SFC to account for the targets set out in the National Ambition. The Group meets three times a year and holds collected data on care-experienced students since AY 2013-14, along with other papers.

Survey of care-experienced students in Scottish colleges and universities

Glasgow Caledonian University.SFC commissioned CELCIS to survey care-experienced students in Scotland's colleges and universities in 2018-19. The findings, Being a student with care experience is very daunting, were published in June 2019. 

SFC is working with our colleges, universities and other corporate parents to implement the recommendations and achieve the targets in the National Ambition to bring impactful, sustainable and positive change.

Care-Experienced Student Bursaries

A higher-rate of student support funding has been available to Care-Experienced students in higher education (HE) since 2017-18 and for students in further education (FE) since 2018-19. The financial support available to HE care-experienced students is administered by SAAS [PDF]. The financial support available to FE care-experienced students is administered by the colleges across Scotland [PDF], under the guidance of the SFC.

Corporate Parenting

SFC is fully supportive of our colleges and universities who are proud corporate parents. Institutions provide support to care-experienced students from application to graduation to employment.

SFC has worked with The Open University in Scotland, College Development Network and other partners to develop the Corporate Parenting course which is a free online course aimed at staff in colleges and universities with a role in identifying and supporting care-experienced students.

Institution contacts

For institutional named contacts and further details of their support, please use the links below.



Useful links