As part of Care Experienced Week, which starts today, we’ll be celebrating work taking place across the College which highlights the importance of supporting care experienced students. During the week, we will share student success stories and signpost to information about opportunities for care experienced students to connect with other students and partners.
This year’s Care Experienced Week theme is Celebrating Success and Connection, which is particularly important as it creates an opportunity to understand the barriers faced by care experienced students. Big or small, people have their own measures of success and it’s important not to compare ourselves with others. Care Experienced Week is about individual feelings of success and reflecting on what success means to us individually.
What does care experienced mean?
Care experienced describes anyone who is currently in care or have been in care at some point in their life, including those who have been in foster care or kinship care. Edinburgh College is a proud corporate parent and we are committed to supporting our care experienced students at every stage of their College journey, starting from their point of application.
Equality law in the UK provides people with protection from discrimination, harassment, and victimisation on the basis of nine ‘protected characteristics’ – age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, sex, and sexual orientation. In 2020, the Scottish Funding Council launched its National Ambition for care experienced students. This strategy includes a call for organisations like Edinburgh College to treat care experienced like a 10th protected characteristic.
The College responded to this call by embedding care experience into our equality strategy. Our most recent Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report 2021 sets a goal to improve retention for care experienced students. This move to link up the work of our Corporate Parenting Forum, Access and Inclusion Strategy, and Equality Outcomes aims to help more care experienced students complete their qualifications and reach their full potential.