The North East Raising Aspiration Partnership are committed to ensuring all students have equal and fair access to Higher Education.

Who are care experienced students?

As a Partnership, we have adopted the broader definition of ‘care-experienced,’ as this term is inclusive of the range of care settings someone may have experienced.

Our definition of care-experienced is someone who, at any stage of their life, and for any length of time, has been in care e.g., looked after by the local authority. This includes the following:

  • spent time in the care of the local authority (e.g. foster care or children’s home)
  • privately fostered
  • ‘looked after at home’ under a supervision order
  • in kinship foster care (where a friend or family member becomes the foster carer). Kinship care through a formal arrangement, recognised by a Local Authority, and could be prior to a Special Guardianship Order.

How does NERAP support Care-Experienced Young People?

Choices Together Progressive Programme

We offer our Choices Together Progressive Programme for young carers and care-experienced young people. Our 2023/24 year is coming up and we are very much looking forward to sharing details about the next year of the programme.

For full details on the programme, and for how to sign up, please visit our Choices Together page.

Outreach Activities

We also offer a selection of outreach activities that we are able to deliver to care-experienced young people. All sessions are interactive, and include specific details of support for care-experienced young people into higher education. Please see the details of these sessions below:

Lego Engineering

Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3

This session introduces the world of engineering to students, guiding them through potential courses, options, and careers as well as considering how engineering is vital to creating the world we live in. Students will then receive their design briefs and equipment and must work in a team to design and develop their Lego vehicles before they go head-to-head in a final competition, all while considering some typical challenges engineers must overcome when meeting a design briefs specification. We’ll debrief after the competition and take any questions your students have about Higher Education or studying a STEM degree.

Freaky Forensics

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4

The session will take your students through an introduction to what university is and why they might want to go to university. We’ll think about what STEM is, STEM degrees, and potential STEM careers discussing the opportunities available both at university and after completing a degree. Our staff will guide students through exploring a simulated crime scene, identifying evidence types that are present and considering how it’s possible to link suspects to a crime. Students will then get to have a go at lifting their very own fingerprints using the same equipment employed in crime scene investigations. Our team will guide students through every step and answer any questions about Higher Education and studying at university.

Coding with Sphero

Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3

The session introduces the world of coding in a hands-on, fun way with students able to see how their code manipulates their Sphero robot. Students will work collaboratively in small groups to learn the foundations of coding, starting small and developing their skills before moving onto more complex challenges that will test their problem-solving skills as well as their team working. As we deliver the session, we’ll think about how and why coding is so important and the types of careers that may be available as a result of studying Computer Science and Technology based degrees.

If you are interested in receiving more information about how we support care-experienced young people, or would look to book one of the above sessions, please contact the NERAP Project Team at

Foster Carer Training

As part of our support, the Partnership provide training opportunities for foster carers in line with Local Authority training.

During this 2-3 hour session, foster carers will develop their awareness and understanding of higher education and the ways in which they can support the young people in their care.


  • To identify the elements of the university application process.
  • To understand their role in supporting young people’s aspirations.
  • To identify the key aspects of financial, wellbeing and general support available to care-experienced young people at Higher Education Institutions.
  • To understand the importance of teamwork and communication across organisations that impact upon care-experienced young people.
  • To identify a range of ways to engage with HEI interventions/programmes throughout their academic career.
  • To identify the barriers and challenges that care-experienced young people face when at university and ways to work to overcome this.

For further information, or to request the opportunity, please contact or call 0191 2083128.

NERAP are proud to be a member of NNECL


You can also find out loads more information about studying in HE as a care-experienced young person by visiting the websites below: