AccessHE is the access to higher education network for London. Learn more

Access HE pan-London organisation for Higher Education

Working with Local Authorities and Virtual Schools


AccessHE is delighted to work with a number of Local Authority and Virtual School colleagues through the activity of our Care Experienced and Estranged Students forum. If you work for a Local Authority supporting those with care experience or care leavers, or those estranged from their families, please see below for opportunities to work with us and our member HEIs to improve progression to and success within higher education for these learners.

Join the AccessHE Care Experienced and Estranged Students forum

The AccessHE Care Experienced and Estranged Students forum meets four times a year to discuss challenges and opportunities around supporting these learners to and through higher education, and to deliver collaborative projects such as the Life After University event. Forum members are typically widening participation and student support staff from our member universities, Virtual School or Local Authority staff in leaving care teams, and colleagues from voluntary sector organisations such as Become, Stand Alone and Drive Forward Foundation.

If you would like to be added to the forum circulation list, please contact Sam Turner, AccessHE London Programmes Coordinator, at sam.turner@londonhigher.ac.uk.

Find a current student to act as a mentor

Mentoring can be an extremely valuable tool to break down some of the barriers and misconceptions around accessing higher education, and allows a young person to develop a relationship with someone from a similar background to them. We’re currently piloting a ‘matching service’ for those with care experience or who are estranged from their families to help them find a mentor currently studying at one of our member HEIs. If you support a learner who you would like to nominate, please complete the form linked to below.

Please click here to request a student mentor.

Request student ambassadors for your events

We understand how valuable meeting current students at university with similar backgrounds can be for prospsective learners considering going to higher education. If you are running an event for your students (such as a meeting of a Children in Care Council or a visit to a university or college), and you’d like your young people to be able to speak with care-experienced or other students currently studying at a specific or a range of universities, please get in touch and we will happily circulate your request to our members.