Where to start looking
A good start would be for you and your parents to have a chat with the Youth Support Officer. The role of the Youth Support Officer is to help both you and your parents with your transition to post 16 education. Although it is not her job to find your accommodation for you, you can contact her for support in accessing the list of providers. She may also know which host providers will have vacancies in the new academic year. There will be a range of opportuntiies to talk about accommodation with the Youth Support Officer at Careers evening, KS4 safety day, parents information day and the bi-annual surgeries held. You can contact her at anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07709 176 600.
Although colleges produce a list of accommodation providers wllling to take in students, please be aware that not all of these people have been vetted to ensure they are suitable to care for young people. Safeguarding young people is a priority of the Council of the Isles of Scilly who recognise that some young people may be vulnerable when they move to the mainland.
The Council always recommend to students and parents that in the interest of safety for your son or daughter that parents / carers ask prospective accommodation providers to organise a DBS check. This check will make sure that the acoommodation provider has nothing in their history that prevents them from looking after or working with young people. If you feel uncomfortable about asking the provider, the Youth Support Officer will be happy to ask on your behalf. If any accommodation provider refuses to undergo a voluntary check you are strongly advised to look elsewhere for accommodation. If you have any concerns about the safety or welfare of any child please contact the Children's Social Care team in total confidence on 01720 424040.
Usually if you choose to board at a state school your accommodation will either be on the school site or within a very short walking distance. However if you stay in a college accommdation provider you may find yourself living a little way out of the town or college. Always check to see if your accommodation is on or close to a bus or train route so that you are able to make it into college easily and on time. Go to the Getting Around page for more advice on accessability.
Make sure that you pay at least one visit to your future accommodation prior to moving there. There is funding to support the costs of you and your parents' access to visit different places and it is always a good idea to have at look at accommodation when you visti a school or college open day. Please find forms and letter here
Once you have moved in
The majority of students settle in well with their accommodation provider and are content for the duration of their stay. However, if you find that you are encountering problems at any time during living there, you need to discuss the problems with the person involved and try to find a solution. If necessary talk to student services or ask your parents to speak to the person involved or call the Youth Support Officer who will try and sort the problem. Examples of past problems have been - the food is inadequate, you may not get on with the person you share a room with, there is too much noise if you are in residenial boarding, you don't feel happy with your accommodation provider, they are away from home from long periods of time, or the location may be wrong, too far from college or town. Remember, if you are not happy where you are living it can have an effect on your college or school work so always ask for help and support.
This is a common problem for students leaving Scilly for the first time and very understandable. If you feel homesick talk to someone, it is perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Have a look at the Health & Wellbeing pages for websites that can offer help and support.