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Looked-After Children Mentoring Scheme (LACMS)

Looked-After Children Mentoring Scheme (LACMS)

Mentoring looked-after children

Research has identified that a lower percentage of young people from a looked-after background compared to the general population attain educational qualifications and go on to university.  

Building on this data, conversations with colleagues in the care sector have established a need for students to: 
  • increase confidence and motivation
  • to experience a positive role model and aspire to this
  • develop a greater number of strategies to achieve within their studies (engage)
  • have a clearer plan of a potential educational and careers progression plan and how to achieve this
  • have an enriching experience that supports their personal development
The LAC mentoring strand seeks to engage students from a looked-after background in their current school studies and to support them in developing educational and career plans which we hope will lead on to university.

Our aim

To provide near-peer mentoring for children in care to aid with increasing Care Leaver progression into higher education.

Our objectives

Undergraduate students from the University of East London with a background or interest in care for young people will befriend and mentor students in years 10, 11 and 12 from schools in our surrounding boroughs. The aim is to compliment the work of borough colleagues.

Students will provide a role model for looked-after children and pass on valuable experience; they will provide an opportunity for the Care Leaver to ‘sound out’ some of the myths surrounding higher education. 


Mentors will help explore and direct the Care Leaver with issues related to:
  • Finance
  • Accommodation and living
  • Fitting in
  • Where to get help
  • Education
  • Student Services on offer
  • Support networks

Becoming a Mentor - Current Students

Make a difference to a looked-after child’s education by being their Mentor.

We are seeking first year Social Work undergraduate students or any students who come from a care background to mentor students currently residing in local authority care and are in years 11, 12, and 13 at local schools and sixth forms.

As a mentor you would be required to act as a positive role model to the young person. Mentoring pairs meet at least once a week to engage in activities designed to support the mentee in three areas; educational attainment, social skills and exploring future plans.

Activities might include:
  • Study and exam revision tips
  • Planning your next steps in education
  • Confidence building and raising aspirations
  • Information on being a student and university life 
  • What can you study at university

You will be asked to take part in a comprehensive training programme before being matched with a student. As a mentor you will receive ongoing support from the Schools and Colleges Team at UEL and the Newham Children in Care Team. Please note that all our mentors will be subject to an enhanced DBS check.

Who are we looking for?
  • Students from a range of UEL schools and subjects
  • A commitment to providing the best possible support to local young people;
  • Enthusiasm and a proactive approach;
  • The ability to build a relationship with a young person.
  • Previous personal experience of or an interest in the care system
What do you get?

You will gain direct experience in:
  • Planning and delivering sessions
  • Working in schools with young people
  • Working with looked-after children
  • Mentoring skills
  • Being a positive role model
  • Communications skills
  • And above all it looks fantastic on your CV!

Who can apply? 

The scheme is open to students studying at the University of East London

What is the time commitment? 

You would need to commit 2 hours every week for 5 weeks or 1 hour a week over 10 weeks and be able and willing to travel to schools in our local boroughs

Who would my mentee be? 

Successful mentors will be matched according to personality, shared subject interests and academic considerations with students aged 14-18who demonstrate an ability and commitment to achieving with support

Apply Now

For more information you can email Priya Clarke. You can request more information about the role or a Mentor and an application form.

Looked-After Children Mentoring Scheme - Contact Us

Care Leavers 

As a virtual head teacher, designated teacher, social worker or foster parent, you could be hosting trained UEL undergraduate Mentors for your looked-after child. 

The aim of the scheme is to support children currently residing in care and in school years 10, 11, 12, encouraging them to achieve in their studies and raise their aspirations in a range of subjects. Mentors will provide 1-2-1 help to the looked-after child school activities.

What is the role of a LAC Mentor?

Mentoring is the relationship shared between a mentor and a mentee. A mentor is an individual who can offer guidance, support and knowledge to empower a mentee. The purpose of this scheme is to enable students to achieve their hidden potential. 

This is achieved by pairing a UEL student with an LAC student and the actions/intentions for the school student that comes from them having a regular conversation about their area.

Mentors will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop the mentee’s confidence and motivation
  • Enable the mentee to identify strategies to achieve within their studies
  • Share subject insight
  • Be a positive role model

Please note a mentor is not there to teach or tutor the student but to offer guidance in subject knowledge, Higher Education, and social and study skills.

How does the scheme work?

Ideally the Mentor will be matched to a mentee who has a similar subject interest. The sessions between mentor and the mentee will take place on a weekly basis, at school or a designated after-school venue and at the same time of day. The sessions will be supervised by a designated teacher but the mentor will be meeting with the mentee on an individual basis.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the UEL LAC Mentoring Scheme young people need to be:

  • Residing in a Local Authority Care Home or with a foster placement family for more than 13 weeks
  • Attending school in years 8 – 12
  • Residing and educated in the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Tower Hamlets

Referrals for the scheme are made through the Virtual Heads (VH) in each borough, in consultation with social workers and the schools.

The process VH must follow to refer a pupil is:

  • Email a REFERRAL FORM to UEL LAC Contact Jasbir Panesar (
  • UEL LAC Contact will process form onto database for matching
  • UEL LAC Contact will match referral to potential mentors
  • UEL LAC contact will send pen portraits of potential mentors to VH for final matching
Contracts and Service-Level Agreement

A Contract and service level agreement is then signed between UEL and the VH, detailing what they can expect from UEL during the mentoring process. The VH agrees to be the main point of contact for any problems arising and commits the young person to the amount of days agreed to be mentored.

Code of Conduct Form

The mentee is then given the pen portrait of their mentor and details on the next steps. As part of this they must sign and return (via the Virtual Head) the code of conduct form, in which they agree to certain criteria including their attendance.

For more information on this scheme please contact Jasbir Panesar in the first instance on or call 0208 223 4354