Higher and further education
Check out our information about higher and further education support for care-experienced young people.
What support am I entitled to?
Lots of children in care and care leavers go on to further education. As a care leaver you are entitled to a further education bursary to help you with the costs of studying at college, alongside the bursary there may also be support available from the local authority. All Local Authorities are required to publish a Local Offer. This is a document that details the support you are entitled to from your Local Authority as a care leaver. You can find your Local Offer here. Some young people leave care between 16 and 18, at the age when they are likely to be in further education. Leaving care can be a very stressful time. Call our friendly Care Advice Line on 0800 023 2033, or email us at [email protected] if you would like to discuss your education options and entitlements. We are open 10 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday.
Many care leavers go on to university, although for some young people this happens later in life. For care leavers under 21 years old the local authority will be there to support you into higher education. For those returning to higher education between the ages of 21 and 25 years old, you can access support from the local authority by requesting support and a new pathway plan. If you would like help with reopening your leaving care support or information starting university Call our friendly Care Advice Line on 0800 023 2033, or email us at [email protected] if you would like to discuss your education options and entitlements. We are open 10 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday. All Local Authorities are required to publish a Local Offer. This is a document that details the support you are entitled to from your Local Authority as a care leaver. You can find your Local Offer here. All universities have a designated member of staff for care experienced students, usually up to the age of 25. Our Propel website identifies who the designated contact is at most of the higher education provisions in England. Care leavers under 21 and those who reopen their support after 21 will be entitled to a £2000 education bursary from their local authority. In addition, care leavers will be entitled to the maximum support from student finance. Each university also offers different support packages for care experienced students, these could include financial bursaries or support with year-round housing.
What is a...?
A designated teacher is a teacher in your school who is there to make sure you have someone you can contact during school times. They will make sure your education is as settled as can be, the designated teacher can also help with additional support such as accessing 1-1 tutoring.
The designated contact for care leavers at a college or university is a named member of staff that supports all the care leavers who are studying there. They will be able to help you with information about the college or university and make sure you receive your bursaries.
Every young person in care will have a Personal Education Plan (PEP). The PEP forms part of your care plan and is reviewed twice a year. The PEP sets out what needs to happen in your education to make sure you have the right support to achieve at school.
The virtual school head promotes the education of all looked after children in each local authority. They will ensure that you are attending the right school and are engaging in education as best as you can. The Virtual School Head will talk to your social worker and the designated teacher in your school to make sure you have the right support in place.