Scottish Funding Council logo

Care-experienced students

Register with us

Register with us to view a personalised homepage and to receive emails relating to your interests.

Register here

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.

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 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 National Policy Group

The Care-Experienced National Policy Group (CENPG) meets three times a year to ensure that SFC achieves its targets as set out in the National Ambition for Care-Experienced Students.

Survey of care-experienced students in Scottish colleges and universities

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. The financial support [PDF] is administered by the colleges across Scotland [PDF], under the guidance of 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 ScotlandCollege 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.

Useful links

Who Cares? Scotland Resource Library and Lifelong Advocacy Helpline – available to Care Experienced people of all ages, and those who support them. The helpline offers support and signposting.

The HUB for SUCCESS – Supporting people with care-experience to get in, stay in or return to education.

SAAS Support for Care-experienced Students. – guidance for HE students.

CELCIS – the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection.

Young Scot – support for care experience

SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

Building a connected, agile, sustainable tertiary education and research system for Scotland.

Register with us

Register with us to receive emails relating to your interests.