As well as having a plan there will be a specific teacher – who may be called the designated teacher in your school who has responsibility for young people in care and is there to support you with any issues you may have about being in care and your education. Ask your teacher or social worker to find out who this is.
If things get difficult at school someone from the LACES Team can visit you in school to help you sort out any problems and make sure your feelings are known to the school. They can also give you further advice about your education but only if YOU want it!
Either your carer or social worker must go with you to parents evenings to find out how you are getting on, what you are good at and what you may need extra help with.
As you get older, people at school and home will try and support you prepare you to achieve what you want out of life. You may have lots of questions about what you want to do in the future. These are important big questions. Children’s Services – and others – want to support you so you achieve these goals and ambitions.
So how will they do that?
If you want to go on to university then Children’s Social Services will provide financial support.
A new guide about the support available for going into Higher Education is now available. It contains all the information you need about individual universities and what support they offer. If you would like a copy, please contact us.
• A PA to review and update your Pathway Plan and keep in touch with you.
• Bursary – this will total £2,000 to cover the whole of the course. It will be paid in instalments annually across the duration of your course. For example, if you are on a 3 year course you will receive £667 per year, or if you are on a 4 year course you will receive £500 per year. This will usually be paid in monthly instalments direct to your bank account but could be paid as an annual lump sum as agreed with your PA and detailed in your Pathway Plan.
• A maximum of £80 per week towards accommodation costs during your official university holiday periods if this is needed. This payment is not available for the summer after your official course end date.
• Support from your PA, or careers advisor, to claim other grants or bursaries.
You will, like most university students, be expected to access student loans for living expenses and course fees, to use your savings to support your study in addition to the support we provide, and to work part time to make up any shortfall.
If you have Temporary Leave to Remain you will not be eligible for national student finance
Here are websites that will give you more information about the choices you have
- National Careers Service – The National Careers Service website provides careers advice and information on a wide range of jobs, training course resources and funding
- UCAS – UCAS Progress allows young people aged 13-17 years to search for courses across England and Wales
- Need2Know – Provides information on all sorts of issues that may affect you.
- NNECL – National Network for the Education of Care Leavers supports young people in care to go to University and Higher Education
It’s YOUR life and YOUR future
The question “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” doesn’t just mean “What job do you want to do?”
It also includes your personal journey through life including
- Where are you going to live??
- Do you want to travel??
- What do you want to achieve??
- What skills can you develop??
- Can you help other people??
Around the time of your 16th birthday your social worker will support you with what you want to achieve out of life and will help you prepare for independent living. They will work with you to build your personal Pathway Plan. (This replaces your care plan and plots out how you move from being a young person in care to an independent adult with the ability to manage living in the big wide world!). Your worker will support you until you are 21, or 25 if you continue in education or training.
Solihull Council has set up an Education Funding Panel which has a small budget to allocate financial support for individual young people aged 16 to 25 years, who have left our care, to support them in accessing education, training and employment.
Detailed information, through an application form, will be presented to the Panel by officers to consider each situation on its own merits.
There is a possibility that the Panel may ask you to present your own application in the case of a complex or costly decision.
Your PA or Careers Advisor can help you to complete the application form.
Remember applications will need to be made in good time to help you and so that you know what support you will receive. Please do not rely on the funding you have applied for from the Education Funding Panel until you have had approval in writing. There is no guarantee that an application will be successful.
If you want to access training or education, you should find out what child care support is on offer from your employer, training provider, college or university.
If they are not able to offer support then talk to your PA about what support we may be able to offer to help you to access childcare.
If needed you could make an application to the Education Funding Panel to request funding towards the cost of childcare whilst you study training or education.
All 3 year olds are entitled to free nursery hours from Early Years Services. In some areas they also offer free provision for 2 year olds.