West Kent and Ashford College

Information for care leavers progressing to West Kent and Ashford College:

Who can help you from the College? West Kent & Ashford College have two Designated Members of Staff for Children in Care and Care Leavers to act as the first point of contact. They are Helen Gray and Deborah Stanton – email contacts are: mailto:helengray@westkent.ac.uk, deborahstanton@westkent.ac.uk
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Who will help me when I am a Student? You will be allocated a Support Mentor when you join the college, they will support you with your transition and offer ongoing support if you wish. We know that some children in care and care leavers may face difficulties in coming to college and succeeding to the best of their ability. You may face financial worries or problems at home. You may need support building confidence or, from time to time, may need emotional support.
Our Support Mentor offer includes:· One to one support.· Help in applying for available financial support.· Advice with filling out forms.· Help in paying your travel expenses if you need to attend open days etc.· Work with your local authority Key Worker/ Social Worker, to provide the best possible service to you.· Information on events and workshops and any new initiatives that may be of interest to you.
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Application and Interviews The Designated Members of staff will support you with your application to college, and arrange meetings with the Careers department to ensure you are on the right course for you. Our Careers team can also provide advice on the interview process. You can apply on line. The Admissions team will then let you know when your interview will be.
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Enrolment Over the summer you will be sent joining instructions and details of what will happen at the start of term. Enrolment normally takes place at the beginning of September if you are receiving exam results in August and they do not turn out as you had hoped or are better than you thought, then book a careers appointment and we can work with you to get you on the right course for you.
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Induction During the first six weeks of the first term, you may feel that the programme isn’t quite right for you, or the environment may not be best suited to your needs. If this is the case, you can speak to; your Personal Tutor, Support Mentor or Careers advisor . Do this as soon as possible so you can consider other options.
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Care Leaver Bursary We offer financial support to Children in Care and Care Leavers, you can apply for funding from the Vulnerable Young Persons Bursary (VYP Bursary). You are entitled up to £1200 pro rata to help you be successful on your course. Your Support Mentor will help you with your application and work with you to figure out the best way the money can be spent. The bursary can support with course related costs such as uniform or PPE, Travel Costs, Laptops etc. Collect an application form from our Student Finance Team, complete this and hand it in with a letter from your Social Worker stating you are a Child in Care or Care Leaver. You may also be entitled to free meals whilst you are in Further Education, speak to the Student Finance Team about this.
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PEPs PEP meetings will usually be held at your College campus. The information recorded from the PEP will be uploaded to your ePEP where there is a section for you to complete. You will have at least 2 PEP meetings during the year atcollege the first between September and December and the second between March and May.
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English and Maths We are committed to helping all students achieve a Level 2 qualification in English and Maths, you will be required to sit a functional skills or GCSE examination in English and Maths, if you have not achieved a grade A-C in these subjects.
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Progress Your progress on course will be monitored by you, your Personal Tutor/Support Mentor and through your PEP. If you have any concerns through out your course please speak to a member of Student Support Services.
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Health & Wellbeing At West Kent and Ashford College Student Support Services are committed to your health and wellbeing and can offer information and services on a large range of topics. If you have any concerns please speak to your Support Mentor or a member of the Student Support Services Team. Examples of support are: Get It (C Card) & Sexual Health Clinics, Drug and Alcohol information, Mental Health & Resilience support. We also have a large range of enrichment including our globetrotting programme, sport/gym access, evening activities and trips.
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Contact Details

Deborah Stanton
Student Support Manager
deborahstanton@westkent.ac.uk
Helen Gray
Designated Member of Staff
helengray@westkent.ac.uk

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