The Going Further for Student Carers: Recognition Award aims to make it easier for further education institutions, most notably, Scotland’s 27 colleges, to identify, support and report on student carers, and reward good practice.

The Going Further for Student Carers: Recognition Award aims to make it easier for further education institutions, most notably, Scotland’s 27 colleges, to identify, support and report on student carers, and reward good practice.

Logo of Going Further for student carers in further education

Launched on 14 March 2019, this award incentives and encourages colleges to adopt a sustainable, whole institution approach to identifying, supporting and reporting on student carers.  

Carers Trust Scotland is grateful to the Scottish Funding Council for their generous support, which has made the Going Further for Student Carers Recognition Award and the work surrounding it possible.  


Logo for the Scottish Funding Council

Scottish Funding Council data for 2016-17 shows that:

  • 10,655 student carer enrolments took place across the 27 colleges in Scotland. 

  • 68% of student carers are aged 25+.

  • 70% of student carers are female.

  • 4% of student carers are care experienced. 

  • 17% declared that they have a disability. 

  • 22% of student carers declare having a mental health difficulty.

We also know from our research that:

Going further facts table

All in all, carers face a difficult time at college.  Often student carers feel that they are being pulled two ways, often more, if you take employment and trying to have time to socialise with friends and family.  On the one hand carers want to do well in their studies, be independent, achieve their goals, ambitions and aspirations; and they also feel that they need to care for their families or friends.

That is why we are asking all 27 colleges in Scotland to include student carers when they look at the different groups that may need extra support to fulfil their potential.  

Our engagement with student carers and other stakeholders demonstrates time and again the extremely challenging conditions endured by student carers that is negatively impacting on them being able to enter, sustain and meet their true potential in further education in Scotland.  Carers provide an invaluable service to their cared for person/s, but also to their local community and Scotland.

It’s Time for Student Carers to Be Heard in Scotland #TTBH

To achieve the award colleges will need to demonstrate that:

  • Carers are being proactively identified from enrolment to completing their college course, and awareness is being raised throughout the college all year round.

  • Carers are being supported to give them a fair chance to be successful in their studies and maintain positive health and wellbeing.

  • Student carer progressions are showcased, and evaluation tools are used to celebrate achievements and make improvements so that appropriate support is delivered.

Key features of the Recognition Award:

  • No cost to apply and complete.

  • Direct support from Carers Trust Scotland.

  • Clear guidance to develop student carer support.

  • Raising awareness of students with an unpaid caring role.

  • Encourages partnerships.

  • Recognises and celebrates good practice.

By coming on this journey with us, further education institutions, specifically colleges, will send a positive message to student carers that they are recognised, supported and will be given a fair chance to be successful in their institution. You can start this journey today by downloading our guidance on how to create a:

Doing so will make it clear to other institutions and the wider student body that inclusivity and fairness is at the heart of your institution.  

Front cover of the Going Further for Student Carers Resource

Download the PDF iconGoing Further for Student Carers Recognition Award PDF (274 KB)

Download the PDF iconGoing Further for Student Carers Recognition Award Checklists PDF (92 KB)


We would like to also thank the College Development Network for its continued support to ensure that students with unpaid caring responsibilities have equal access and inclusion within Scotland’s colleges.