Care leavers: your education, training and employment

We support care leavers to reach their goals and fulfil their potential with accessing higher and further education, and work opportunities.

We take your education seriously and want you to achieve at the highest level you can. That is why we will work hard to support you through whatever education or training you decide to take on. Whether this is supporting you through an apprenticeship, helping you to gain work related qualifications or supporting you for up to four years through university, we will help you achieve your goals. We can also provide the support of our opportunity brokers to search out specific opportunities that interest you. This may be attending taster days, supporting you into voluntary work, helping you create a high-quality CV or even speaking to your dream employer to see if we can set up a work trial.

We don’t believe that any ambition is too big, so speak to us about yours and we will do our best to help you achieve them. We will ensure if you have any additional or learning needs we help you to get support from the relevant services. 

Type of course Support we can offer you

Further education

Further education includes education below degree level, for above school age people.

We will support you to engage in further education if this is what you want to do. Your leaving care case worker will discuss your ambitions within your pathway plan and set out clear targets to aim for. They may also ask one of our 'opportunity brokers' to help you apply for certain opportunities or find work placements in an industry area which you want to work in.

You could receive up to £10 per week if your income is lower than £80 per week and you have engaged in some form of education, training or employment that week. This can include voluntary work or training courses. You do not get this money if you are in higher education. You can ask for help from the leaving care team with child care costs to enable you to go to some education, training or employment. Before we agree to help your income will be assessed and universal services will be accessed first.

If you wish to access further education or training after you are 21 and you are not eligible to claim benefit, the leaving care team will support you with rent and living costs for up to 2 years. If you are required to pay course costs we will pay up to £2,000 for up to 2 years – we call this support ‘second chance learning’. We will try to help you access other sources of funding before we consider agreeing to this support. We would expect you to engage in this process before we agree to help in other ways.

Higher education

We offer support for full time undergraduate level courses for up to four years.

We provide a comprehensive package of support for those accessing higher education. A copy of the higher education policy is available from your leaving care case worker.

Full financial support will only be given to care leavers accessing a full-time course. Whilst at university, you will be expected to claim your maximum entitlement to the maintenance/special support loan and grant from the Student Loans Company. In addition to this you will be provided with a HE bursary of £3,100 per year for up to a maximum of 4 years (up to £12,400 in total). An additional £2,000 will be paid to you upon graduation, to further assist with the cost of post graduate studies or to pay off some of your student loan.

An additional £650 (over the whole of your course) is available to you for help towards the cost of books and high cost, one off items or ICT equipment. You may also be entitled to additional support from the university who often have additional funds and grants for care leavers.

If you need alternative accommodation during holiday periods, we will help you find something and assist you with the cost up to a limit of £1800 per year.

Higher education and university for asylum seekers

You may be able to study at university if you are an asylum seeking young person, however your nationality, where you live and how long you have lived there will affect the amount of tuition fees you have to pay and whether you are eligible for support from student finance. As we are not in control of the rules around tuition fees and eligibility criteria for student finance, your leaving care case worker will advise you of your individual circumstances. If we do agree to provide you with support, this will be recorded clearly in your pathway plan.