Estranged students

We recognise the challenges faced by students who do not have a family support network. We want to be able to support your success at college and to take steps as appropriate to help in any way we can.

We rely on you telling us about your situation as early as possible. Telling us will not disadvantage you in any way. It’s quite the opposite.


An estranged student is someone, often under the age of 25, who no longer has the support of their family due to a breakdown in their relationship which has led to ceased contact. This might mean biological or adoptive parents or wider family members who have been responsible for supporting a student in the past. Estranged students have no experience of being in care and do not have a corporate parent responsible for them.

How to identify yourself as an Estranged Student

  • Look for the tick-box on your course application or enrolment form;
  • Email us: with the subject line ‘Estranged’;
  • Call us on 0300 600 6060 and ask for:
    • Marie McKeown if your study location is Clydebank;
    • Simone Stewart if your study location is Greenock;
    • Maureen Kelly if your study location is Paisley

How can the college help?

  • Where possible, we will fast track your funding application and offer to assist in helping you access any additional funding support;
  • We will offer you anytime access to a named person on campus whenever you need advice or support, and even to be the person who helps other staff to understand your own circumstances and the impact that this can have on you and your studies;
  • We will offer to help you engage with our student support services and with relevant external support services;
  • We will offer you the opportunity to participate in actives through our Students’ Association;
  • We will do whatever we can to minimise the impact on your chances of success, including a commitment to the continuous review of our policies and processes to remove barriers wherever we can

The Stand Alone Pledge

West College Scotland is one of first colleges in Scotland to sign The Stand Alone Pledge to support estranged students.

Estranged Students - The Stand Alone Pledge

How can I find out more?

Telephone: 0300 600 60 60 (ask for Student Advisory Services)
Drop in: Due to social distancing, this service is by currently only available by appointment. Please contact us on 0300 600 6060 first.