Supporting care experienced learners


If you’re currently in care, or have experience of living in local authority care, there’s support you can access to help you in your HE journey.

Sometimes this support will be specifically for care leavers. A care leaver is a person who has been in care for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14, including some point during the age of 16-17, and is under the age of 25.

Most institutions offer support for care leavers, but some institutions also offer support to care experienced students, which is broader than the definition of a care leaver.

Guide for Care Experienced Learners

This guide is for anyone who is care experienced and their supporters. It highlights what support is available in higher education and how to access it.

Download now

University Contacts

The University of Manchester

Manchester Metropolitan University

University of Salford

Other university contacts

Additional information


Search for university named contacts, specific support at university and useful resources.

Find out more

The Unite Foundation Scholarship

National accommodation scholarship scheme for care leavers and estranged students, for up to 3 years of study in higher education.

Find out more


Specific IAG for care leavers or looked after children thinking about higher education.

Find out more

Learning and Work Institute

Resources aimed at supporting care leavers to access education, employment and training – including ‘Top Tips’ for foster carers.

Find out more

Student Finance

Find out about student finance specific to care leavers.

Find out more

Coram Voice

Get your voice heard, learn about your rights, give you the support you need and work with you to improve the care system.

Find out more

National Network for Education of Care Leavers

Working together to support, connect and empower professionals working with care experienced people in different sectors, with the goal of enabling more care experienced people to access and progress successfully through further and higher education.

Find out more

Care Leaver Covenant

Find a range of opportunities and support available to care leavers.

Find out more

Care Leaver Offer

Find your local authority’s offer to care leavers, including education.

Find out more

Capstone Care Leavers Trust

Information about a grant for care leavers in need.

Find out more

The other big questions

What are my further education options?

Here you can explore your options for once you’ve completed your GCSEs, whether it’s study further or something else.

Find out more

What are my higher education options?

Higher education can come in all shapes and sizes, and there are plenty of factors to consider when making your choices.

Find out more