Care Leavers

At Leeds Conservatoire, we are committed to supporting care experienced students. We want you to get the best out of your course, fulfil your potential, and enjoy your conservatoire experience.

Being care experienced means you will have spent time living with foster carers under local authority care, in residential care (e.g. a children’s home), looked after at home under a supervision order, or in kinship care with relatives or friends, either officially (e.g. a special guardianship order) or informally without local authority support.

From the moment you apply to join us at Leeds Conservatoire, right through to your graduation and beyond there's lots of support on offer to help you get the most out of your experience.

We fully recognise that as a care-experienced young person coming to university for the first time, you may have a number of questions and concerns.

You can contact us for support as early as you would like, even before you apply. We can talk to you about conservatoire life and answer any questions you may have. Our dedicated care leaver contact is Bethany Milner.

Remember to tick the box on your UCAS application to let us know you have been in care.

This is confidential and won't be assessed as part of your application. It does, however, help our student support team understand if you might require additional support, so we can make arrangements before your course begins. Find out more about UCAS Undergraduate support for care leavers.

If you would like to talk to our admissions team about your application, please email

We are happy to organise campus tours for care leavers and foster families, so if you would like to arrange a student-led tour of our facilities you can book a campus tour online.

We provide advice and support for care-experienced students on how to apply for any available funding and associated benefits. If you would like to talk to our student funding team, please contact

We will also cover the cost of gown hire at Graduation for our care-experienced students.

You can visit our Fees and Funding page for more information.

An accommodation start-up grant worth £150 for essential items, is available to applicants starting their course in September 2023, who have been receiving benefits, are care leavers, or are estranged from their family. Applications for students starting in September 2023 are now open.

Within the Health and Wellbeing Team, we provide a range of free and confidential services to help with any practical, emotional, or mental health conditions that you might be experiencing, which are impacting upon your studies or student life.

If you are a current or prospective student and would like to discuss any specific support needs or concerns about your wellbeing please don’t hesitate to get in touch at

Q. I’m supporting a care leaver, can I speak to a staff member

Yes, we are happy to have conversations with any supporting staff. Please get in touch via email with any questions you may have.

Q. I was in care but student finance does not class me as care experienced – Can I still access support?

Yes, we’re here to help no matter your experience. We encourage you to speak to us so we can tailor our support to your unique situation.

Q. What is Kinship Care?

Kinship care – family or friends care – is where a child lives full-time or most of the time with a relative or close family friend, usually because their parents are not able to care for them. You can find out more here:

Please be aware that informal kinship care can be very difficult to evidence, but we would like to try to consider your circumstances where possible. You may be able to evidence this through something such as a:

  • A letter from a local authority social worker (this could include a copy of a completed IC1 form claiming support for a child informally living with a carer, signed by a registered social worker)
  • A letter from a school/college or other education setting, or other relevant professional, who can evidence your situation.
  • Any evidence of relevant benefits paid to your carer (e.g. child benefit being claimed by someone other than your birth parents [as listed on your birth certificate], Guardian’s Allowance).

Leeds Conservatoire joined Go Higher West Yorkshire in 2019 and is committed to supporting care leavers. Find out more about GHWY’s Care Leaver Covenant. Download the Care Leaver Covenant (.pdf)

Dedicated Care Leaver Contact

Bethany Milner

Student Wellbeing Adviser (Access and Participation)

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