Sir John Cass’s Foundation has partnered with the University of Westminster to fund a series of ‘Completion Bursaries’ for care experienced students – those who have spent time in care under the age of 18 – in their final year of study. The Foundation awarded a grant of £30,000 to be distributed over the next three years.

The ‘Completion Bursaries’ aim to offset the pressure students have to increase their paid work, and ideally would enable them to lessen it, during a critical point in their academic life. They will enable and encourage students to successfully complete their studies, reach their full potential and either gain employment upon graduation or embark upon further study.

The University of Westminster has a long-standing commitment to care-experienced students with tailored support around finance, employability, academic skills, health and welfare.

Anne McGrath, Care Leaver Adviser and Co-ordinator at the University of Westminster, said: “We are extremely grateful to Sir John Cass’s Foundation who will be helping care experienced students during the transition period between university and entering the ‘outside world’. By responding to their needs and expanding our support package to include ‘Completion Bursaries’, we are helping them to fully embrace their time at the University.”

Richard Foley, Chief Executive at Sir John Cass’s Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the University of Westminster in funding this vital support for care experienced students, at what is such a crucial point in their academic careers. Sir John Cass’s Foundation has a long, and proud, history of bringing young people from all backgrounds into education and is committed to supporting new and innovative ways to enable young people to fully engage with their studies. We are proud to work with the University of Westminster’s Student Advice Team to offer a truly holistic suite of support, from application to graduation, for care experience students.”

The Foundation is committed to supporting young people who are currently under represented in Further and Higher Education with Looked After Children and Care Leavers a key focus for the Foundation’s activities going forward. This year, at the 11th Annual Cass Lecture in November, we were delighted to welcome the Rt. Hon. Ruth Kelly, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at St Mary’s University Twickenham, to deliver a thought-provoking exploration into the impact of education on the life chances of children in care. The lecture also celebrated the major grant award of £400,000 made to St Mary’s over the next four years towards the First Star Academy, to improve the educational outcomes of young people in care.

The Foundation is proud to broaden its portfolio of support for Care Leavers and Looked After Children and fund innovative and practical interventions to ensure care experience students excel.

Photo Credit: University of Westminster