At King’s we recognise that any time spent in care can have a significant impact on educational opportunities and outcomes. We therefore provide a wide range of support for students who have spent time in care. This can refer to time spent in local authority care in the UK, or time spent in care overseas before being adopted in the UK.

Through our continued commitment to support care-experience students,  King's has been accredited with the  Buttle UK  Quality Mark for Care Leavers, which is awarded to colleges and universities who go the extra mile in supporting care-experienced students.  

This article provides an overview of the support available at King’s for care experience students during the application process.


In this article: 


What does King’s mean by care-experienced? 
Our definition of care-experienced is anyone who, at any stage in their life, for any length of time (no matter for how short a time period): 

  • Has been in care, or  
  • Is currently in care, or 
  • Is from a looked-after background, including adopted children who were previously looked-after. This could be looked after in the UK or Overseas

You would also need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for additional support: 
  • Under 25 at the start of your course   
  • Assessed as a home fee payer*   
  • Have lived in public care or as a looked-after child, including with foster carers under local authority care, in a residential children's home, or that have been adopted after being in care.

*If you have been in care in the UK, but are not a home fee payer, please get in touch to discuss this in greater detail.  


Important to know:

  • This does not refer to time spent in boarding schools, working in a care or healthcare setting, being admitted or detailed in a healthcare setting under the mental health act, or if you are or have been a carer yourself. 

How can I disclose my care-experience status?

In order to access the support available at King’s for care-leavers/care experience students, we strongly encourage applicants to disclose that they have been in care.

You can disclose your care-experience status during your UCAS application.   

To disclose your care-experienced status during your application:  

    • Tick the ‘Care Leaver’ box on the UCAS application form  
    • Include that you are care-experienced within your personal statement  
    • Ensure the reference (provided by a teacher etc.) additional information and provides context  
    • Fill in the Mitigating Circumstances form (if needed )   

UCAS have put together a  really useful video explaining how to disclose your care-experience on the application form, as well as the benefits of doing so.
Important to know:
  • Any information shared with us can be used in providing context when making admissions decisions but also ensures we provide the right financial, academic, and personal support. 
  • We do not need to know why a student has been in care or any other detail and we do understand that some students see university as a new start and may be reluctant to let the university know. However, this information will never be used against a student. 

What support can I access as an applicant at King’s?

Application support 
King's College London has a designated member of staff who can assist care-experienced students with all aspects of the application process, including:  

  • Discussing course choices
  • Receiving feedback on a draft personal statement, tips on interviews
  • Receiving guidance on King's other support services e.g. student funding or the disability services. 

For more information on the application support available, please get in touch.  

Additional admissions consideration for care-experienced applicants  
If you are care-experienced and applying to study at King’s, we strongly advise you to disclose this on your UCAS application form. This will allow admissions staff to take your circumstances into consideration and will not have a negative impact on your application.  We use this data to holistically assess an applicant’s future potential to succeed and to differentiate between similar highly qualified candidates.  As a care-experienced student, you will receive additional consideration.

 Examples of the ways in which additional consideration is given are as follows: 

  • Students whose predicted grades are marginally lower than that required for the course may be given an offer. 
  • Students whose application is considered as being close to the standard required to gain an interview may be offered an interview. 
  • Students whose admissions test score is considered as being close to the required standard might be given an offer or interview. 
  • Students who narrowly fail to meet their conditional offer will be given additional consideration as to whether their place should be confirmed. 


Depending on the course applied for and the qualifications you are studying, you may receive a reduced offer for your course. 


Pre-university events:



K+ is a programme for Year 12 and 13 students from Greater London and some of the surrounding area. If you are care-experienced, your application to K+ would be prioritised. K+ is a two-year programme that aims to equip post-16 students across London with the knowledge, confidence and skills to successfully transition to university. Applications open in September/October, visit the K+ website for details.


Sutton Trust Summer School

In partnership with Sutton Trust, we run a residential summer school for students between year 12 and 13. Applications from care experienced students are prioritised. Students can apply from anywhere within the United Kingdom. 


Important to know: For more information on how King's supports care-experience students, visit our Study at King's webpages, where you can find: 

  • Information for teachers and carers  
  • Information on our online campus tours and open day(s)