We want you to be able to continue your education or training or find work when you leave care.
If you have already started to receive funding from us for further education (up to ‘A’ levels), or higher education, this will continue, as already agreed, until you have completed the course.
If you are still in education or in training, your college may be able to advise you whether you are eligible for a 16 – 19 Bursary. Careers Advisors will have more information about this.
You will have the following support available to you:
- Your PA will keep in touch with you and review your Pathway Plan to ensure you are getting the support you need.
- You may be eligible for an annual payment of up to:
- £600 – bus pass, term time only
- £300 – fees for a course
- £80 – educational materials, equipment etc.
Income Support, Housing Benefit, or Universal Credit should be available if you have been in care and remain separated from your family and are in:
- Full time further / non advanced education. (This is up to A’ Level standard or equivalent / 12 hours or more).
- In directed training for 12 hours a week or more.
Income Support, Housing Benefit or Universal Credit should continue to be paid to you if you become 21 during the course, until the course is completed.
If you are not in employment, education or training and are finding it difficult to get back into anything, you may be eligible for an additional £10 per week to help enable and encourage you to attend college or work depending on your situation. This will be with the agreement of the Team Manager for a limited period of time. If you are eligible to receive the 16 – 19 bursary from your college you will not be eligible for the £10.
We will assess your circumstances and offer you support, if this is needed, to access employment, education or training once you have left our care until you are 25. If you are over 21 and want to get back into education or training, up to A’ Levels or equivalent, you will be given advice and support to consider your options.
This will include:
- Using any savings you have to support you during this time.
- Combining work and study.
- Applying for financial support from charities and trusts.
- Considering if you are eligible for funding from your employer.
- Consider applying for financial support through the Education Funding Panel (see below). We can also assist you with a one off payment of up to £100 in total from the time you turn 21 up to your 25th birthday.
If we do provide you with support after 21, we will also provide you with a PA who will update your Pathway Plan with you and keep in touch.
If you are on an apprenticeship, and you are paid below the national minimum wage, you may eligible for an allowance to top up your wage to the minimum national wage level. Please speak to social worker or PA if you want more information about this.
If you have already started to receive funding for university from us, this will continue until you have completed your current course within the plan agreed. If you are eligible for support at university you will receive the following support:
- 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 can be paid monthly or termly 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 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.
- Provision of rent deposit and guarantor for student accommodation if required.
If you want to access training or education, you should find out what childcare 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. If needed, you could make an application to the Education Funding Panel (see below) to request funding towards the cost of childcare whilst you study.
All 3 year olds are entitled to free nursery hours from Early Years Services. In many areas, they also offer free provision for 2 year olds. Check with the Local Authority in your area or ask your PA.
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, including an application form, will be presented to the Panel by officers to consider each situation on its own merits. Your PA can help you to complete the application form.
- 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.
- You may apply to Education Funding Panel for support to complete further education courses such as GCSE’s.
We can continue to offer you advice and support if you need it until you are 25 years old for education or training.
However, when you have completed your university course, if you do not have paid work you will be expected to claim benefits unless you are considering going on to a post graduate course.
If you want to go on to complete a post graduate course we will offer you support and assistance to help identify financial support for you to continue your education and will advise you on how to access this. We are not able to pay your fees or living expenses.
- You will need to consider how you can support yourself financially in post graduate studies by:
- Combining work and study
- Using savings
If you are considering doing a post graduate course it is best to start considering options about 18 months beforehand to ensure you know:
- What funding , i.e. studentships and grants, is available for the different courses you are considering.
- How you will fund your fees and living costs whilst completing the course.