FOP and Higher Education

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FOP can bring with it a number of significant challenges and it can have an impact on your studies.  If you are considering moving on to higher education, you may want to take inspiration from the many young people with FOP who have gone on to university or college and successfully pursued their studies.

There is a wealth of information out there to help you as you begin to consider where your studies might take you.

The SEN and Disability Code of Practice 2016 contains the statutory guidance in relation to pupils accessing an education post-16. It advises educational settings to identify, assess and provide support for students with SEND.

There is also guidance at the back of the Supporting a Child with FOP: a practical guide to their learning journey (p106).

UCAS (The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK-based organisation whose main role is to operate the application process for British universities.  They have produced excellent guidance along with videos, downloadable information, and links to other websites.  This is a great website to begin with, when you simply don’t know where to start!

“Every year, over 60,000 students with physical and/or mental health conditions and learning differences apply through UCAS to study at a university or college in the UK, and access a range of support to help them succeed with their studies, day-to-day activities, travel, and lifestyle.”

There is a short ‘How to…Students with disabilities‘ video guide which is an informative starting point.

Your Opportunity from the Family Fund is a grant-making organisation which supports young people age 18 to 25. They offer financial assistance for those who have a disability or who are seriously ill. The application is made by a parent/carer on behalf of the young person.

Your Opportunity can help with a range of things, including: digital equipment to support a student with their coursework, equipment and tools for a training or vocational course; books, uniform, and stationary; and conference and study weekends.

There are eligibility criteria to meet. Visit their website for further information and how to apply.

You are strongly advised to check the suitability of this opportunity before you provide any personal, medical, or financial information.

Head Up are a group of university students who have a variety of disabilities, physical & mental health conditions, learning difficulties and neurodiversity.

“We want to share our advice and experiences of dealing with these in school, university & in our social lives in the hope that you feel supported, encouraged and able to keep going: to overcome the extra challenges you may face and to chase big ambitions. If you are struggling with your health or with feeling different and isolated, please know that you are not on your own. Whether your life is impacted a lot or a little, whether your condition is temporary or lifelong, diagnosed or not, and whichever stage of education you are at, we are here for you. If you are here as an ally, because someone close to you is affected, or you just want to learn more about supporting someone with a disability or health condition, you are welcome too! Love The Team x”

The National Development Team for Inclusion NDTi are a social change organisation that has been working for over 25 years with communities, governments and public services to enable people at risk of exclusion, due to age or disability, to live the life they choose.

They provide a range of comprehensive resources to support people and create change which leads to better lives.

They have produced an excellent selection of resources and useful information for young people thinking about higher education.

Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity.

They empower students and members of the university community to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health, support others and create change.


Navigating Adulthood‘ is a video presentation from FOP community member Laura Rossano.  As part of the IFOPA’s 2022 Virtual Family Gathering, she shared her experiences of navigating college and her career path whilst living with FOP.

Laura lives in Long Island, NY with her husband.  She holds a Master’s degree and is a vocational evaluator and self-confessed shopaholic!  Thank you for sharing your story.