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Students are classed by Trinity Laban and funding bodies as care leavers when:

  • They have been in the care of, or have been given accommodation by, their Local Authority for a period of at least 13 weeks before the age of 16.
  • They have not reconciled with their parents between leaving care and starting their course.

Students won’t be classed as care leavers if:

  • They’ve been looked after by family members or legal guardians (without the involvement of their Local Authority),
  • Have a residency order, or
  • Have been given accommodation or supported housing by a charity

These students may be able to apply as an independent student in other ways, for example, by showing they are estranged from their parents.

Student Finance Funding

You can apply for the same support as other students, but your application won’t be based on your parents’ income, as you are assessed as an independent student.

Depending on where you are from in the UK, you will have different grants and support from the Local Authority that was responsible for your care. To apply for support, please contact your personal advisor, social worker or caseworker.

This page, from Propel, is a useful guide to the differences between funding for English, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish students, including charities and trusts who provide additional financial support. 


Care leavers will be asked by Student Finance to provide evidence that they were looked after, or have been given accommodation by, their Local Authority. Usually, you will be asked to send a letter from your local council or care authority. This letter should confirm that you:

  • Were under the care of your Local Authority, 
  • Have now left the care of the Local Authority, and 
  • Are a care leaver as defined in the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000.

You will only have to provide this evidence once, at the start of your course. If you can’t provide the evidence asked for, you should contact Student Finance England to discuss your individual circumstances.

What Trinity Laban can help with

  • You do not have to pay an audition fee if you provide us with evidence you are in or have left care
  • You will be given priority allocation for a room in our McMillan Student Village
  • You will receive a bursary of £1,250 via our Access Agreement if your income is under £30,000 per year
  • You will be able to apply for a Financial Support Grant via Student Services
  • We can help you provide evidence of attendance for your Local Authority if need
  • We can arrange a meeting with you before your course starts to discuss concerns

If you have any questions please contact Student Services.

You can also contact Propel, who offer independent advice and information to those leaving care.