Care to Go Higher training delivered to virtual school staff

Virtual school staff and designated teachers recently benefited from bespoke CPD that aimed to increase knowledge of the difficulties care-experienced young people may face. Delivered by Go Higher West Yorkshire (GHWY) in partnership with the Wakefield Virtual School, the free training also sought to increase personal knowledge of Higher Education (HE) 

The training session was adapted from GHWY’s innovative Care to Go Higher programme, which is aimed at the key influencers of care-experienced young people. This group of participants had more knowledge around care-experience than the usual programme cohort, which meant a greater focus could be given to the specific interactions between care-experience and HE.   

The session, which ran at the Chesney Centre in Pontefract, was framed within the local context. Statistics and information about care-experienced students, provided by the Virtual School, highlighted the low progression rates to HE in the Wakefield area when compared to other parts of the UK. 

Session structure 

The session was split into two halves that included activities, resources, and information sharing. It was clear from the start that participants were keen to learn more about the challenges facing care-experienced young people. These include inconsistent schooling, low expectations from others, and lack of access to information about support from HE providers.  

The programme also covered topics that were specifically requested by the Wakefield Virtual School and that were most relevant to attendees. These included how to affect decision making in care-experienced young people; the transition to HE; and information on T-Levels and Apprenticeships.  In addition, participants discussed the importance of the different definitions of care-experienced and how it can affect choices relating to HE (read about GHWY’s journey to a common definition here).  

Participants were particularly keen to hear about the types of support offered to care-experienced students by HE providers, especially housing related. Much of this support information is contained within GHWY’s Care Leaver Covenant (find out more here). 

Session feedback 

Participants had varying levels of knowledge about care-experienced young people prior to attending the session. Some were new to their roles, while one participant had attended a previous Care to Go Higher training session. Irrespective of their backgrounds, they provided overwhelmingly positive feedback. 

One attendee said: “I have more knowledge on how to support learners going into Higher Ed.” Other participants commented that the training had a “good pace,” was “informative,” and “delivered well”.  

Next steps 

We are looking forward to having the opportunity to deliver this session again in collaboration with the Wakefield Virtual School.