At ICMP, we are proud to offer an inclusive package of support for care experienced and estranged students. We are committed to supporting you throughout your entire journey at ICMP. This page will provide you with information on the support available to you.
Our package includes financial support, audition support, access to internal student support and opportunities; including becoming part of our student ambassador team. This is in addition to advocacy across the institution and a dedicated member of staff to support you at every stage of your higher education journey. You will also be eligible for our transition programme.
Disclosing Care Experienced or Estranged Status
In order to access the support available, we strongly encourage students to disclose that they have been in care or that they are estranged from their parents. This information can be used in providing context when making admissions decisions and also help to ensure that we provide the right financial, academic and personal support. We understand that some students may be reluctant to let the university know. However, this information will be held in the strictest confidence, and never be used against you as a student. We believe that young care experienced, and estranged students can go on to achieve anything that they desire in life, we are here to help make your dreams a reality.
WHAT WE OFFER
We have a dedicated support package for care-experienced and estranged undergraduate students who are under the age of 25 at the start of their course and are part of the groups below. Please check your eligibility on the relevant section.
Care Experienced Students | Estranged Students
Care Experienced Students
A care leaver is a young person who has been in the care of, or has been given accommodation by, their local authority (LA) for a period of at least 13 weeks before the age of 16. This care may have been provided in one of many different settings, such as in residential care, foster care, kinship care or looked after at home with a supervision requirement.
We define care experienced as any student who has been or is currently in care or from a looked after background at any stage of their life, no matter how short.
When you arrive
At the beginning of the academic year, you will be invited to a meeting with one of our advisers within the Student Wellbeing Team who will be your named contact for the duration of your studies. They will explain the range of support that's available and you will also have the opportunity for regular check-ins throughout the academic year.
FINANCIAL ENTITLEMENTS AND SUPPORT
Loans and grants are provided for you through a government service called Student Finance England/ Scotland/ Northern Ireland/Wales. You can find out more information by visiting www.gov.uk/student-finance/overview. Each student is offered an individualised package of loans and grants. Care Leavers are usually classed as independent by student finance so will get the maximum amount of financial support available through the loans and grants system.
Care-Experienced students who have been looked after by family members or legal guardians (without the involvement of their LA), have a residency order, or have been given accommodation or supported housing by a charity will not be classed as care leavers. If you fall into this category you may be able to apply as an independent student in other ways, for example, by showing you are estranged from your parents.
Students who are care leavers will need to provide evidence to Student Finance that they were looked after, or have been given accommodation by their LA. You will only have to provide this evidence once, at the start of your course.
Young Independent Student Bursary
Care Leavers who enrol at ICMP and have been assessed as 'home' for fee purposes are eligible to receive a non-repayable bursary of £2,000 per progressive year of study. Please note that this is in addition to any other entitlement to financial support you may have. We will also consider offering financial support to care-experienced students that do not meet the official care leaver definition.
If you are unsure of your eligibility or are a current student, please contact studentwellbeing.ac.uk to discuss your situation.
Our Careers and Industry hub team offer careers advice and artist/talent development support.
We define an estranged student as a young person, under the age of 25, who has experienced an irrevocable breakdown in their relationship with both of their biological parents and often their wider family. This includes students who have been living in foyer or hostel accommodation, have been disowned and/or are estranged from their parent/guardian. If you are unsure of your eligibility or are a current student, please contact us to discuss your situation.
FINANCIAL ENTITLEMENTS AND SUPPORT
Loans and grants are provided for you through a government service called Student Finance England/ Scotland/ Northern Ireland/Wales. You can find out more information by visiting www.gov.uk/student-finance/overview. Each student is offered an individualised package of loans and grants. Estranged Students are usually classed as independent by student finance purposes so will get the maximum amount of financial support available through the loans and grants system.
Students, who are estranged from their parents, will need to provide evidence to Student Finance that they have not communicated with either of their biological or adoptive parents for 12 months (this is flexible) and the situation is irreconcilable.
For advice and guidance StandAlone have a dedicated advice centre for students who have no contact with their family. They can provide information about support, financing your studies and accommodation options as an estranged student.
Get help and support with evidence of your family estrangement
If you are having difficulty understanding the evidence you need to supply to Student Finance England or Wales then please contact email@example.com.
A named contact from our Student Wellbeing Team will be available to support you through your time at ICMP and through to Graduation. They will explain the range of support that's available and you will also have the opportunity for regular check-ins throughout the academic year. To set this up please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Careers and Industry hub team offer careers advice and artist/talent development support - contact them by emailing email@example.com.
The This Is Us community (TIUC) is our dedicated and safe online space for estranged and care-experienced HE students and recent graduates in the UK to connect, share info, arrange meet-ups and more! It’s free, national, and open to all ages & years of study. Join the This is Us community here.