We are committed to supporting you to aim high and achieve in your education, training, and employment choices. We know how important it is you receive help to find what you are good at and get support where things can perhaps be harder. Whatever you choose to do, we will support you to achieve your educational and employment goals. Our support can continue to 25.
If you are interested in employment information, see our employment section of the Local Offer.
Social Workers, Personal Advisors (PA), Keyworkers, Foster Carers and Virtual Schools, are professionals who are here to support you think about your education, training and employment choices. They can also arrange for you to receive advice from the right people and services and arrange for you to receive your financial entitlements from us.
Everyone who is in care from nursery age up to 18 (Year 13) should have a Personal Education Plan (PEP). From 16 years of age, you will also have a Pathway Plan that captures your educational needs, goals and aspirations. These plans are developed over your school years with you, your college/sixth form tutor or designated teacher, your Social Worker and PA. Some of the things it will include are:
You will have had termly meetings to update the PEP and regular meetings after that to review your plans as part of your 6 monthly Pathway Plan reviews.
The Virtual School is here to ensure all children and young people in care are supported to achieve their best education, are pursuing their ambitions and supported with all education and training needs.
We work with schools, colleges so that they understand what support you need. We are a team of experienced education advisors who will support you to find up-to-date information about careers, jobs, education courses, volunteering and training opportunities.
Whether you are choosing to go to university, learn a new skill or enter work, there are some key essentials to think about first to help you plan for your future!
We know getting to the end of Year 11 and thinking about your options is both exciting and perhaps daunting, there’s so much to think about. When you’re thinking about your future remember that you are young and you have lots of time to try new things, gain new experience and we are here to help you.
Between the ages of 16-18 working alongside the Virtual School, your Personal Advisor and Social Worker will work together by:
After Year 11 there are lots of different pathways you can follow. You should have been talking about these pathways with your school from the age of 14 and your ideas should be in your PEP. If they are not, ask for some help at your PEP meeting.
Post 16 you might do more GCSEs, A Levels, a Traineeship or Apprenticeship focused work, like building, mechanics, social care, office work, IT etc.
We want to support you in your education pathway. Unfortunately, whilst you await a decision on your immigration status, this can limit what you can access. There are still lots of opportunities available to you and your Social Worker and PA can talk to you about these. Below is the pathway available.
ESOL – (English for Speakers of Other Languages) qualifications are designed to help learners to develop English skills and build confidence in using English in everyday life, education and employment.
Entry Level 1 Maths and English – Asphaleia and Chichester College
Entry Level 2 Maths & English
Entry Level 3 Maths & English
Level 1 Maths and English – you can begin to be assessed for suitability to start GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education)
Level 2 Maths and English – you will be working towards or starting GCSEs
You can now follow the regular educational pathway from this point forward, but there are some restrictions that may impact on your choices until decisions are made on your status.
For more information see our finance section.
We can provide up to £500 to support you with education and or employment. This can be spent on things that support you in education or employment, or if you’re trying to access it. It can include things such as;
In the first month of you working, we can pay for your transport to and from work as long as the Department of Work and Pensions are not already providing with this.
To find our if you are eligible and read more visit: https://www.gov.uk/1619-bursary-fund/eligibility
If you are over 19, there are other bursaries that colleges can provide. Please discuss with your Personal Advisor and your college.
If you’re going to university, we will give you £3,000 (as of September 23) over the duration of your course. Most degrees are 3 years, this means you will receive 3 payments of £1,000 each year of your course.
We want to support you to continue your studies. We can, if needed, offer some financial support towards this. This will be a discretionary payment and will not come with the full entitlements you received in your higher education course. We will consider your circumstances and what you are able to do to support yourself, what your accommodation needs are and any other means of financial support available to you.
Useful link to looking at Postgraduate funding opportunities: https://www.postgraduate-funding.com/
The Government have a bursary scheme for Care Leavers to access money that can be spent on things to support their education. This is attendance related. You can apply for up to £1,200 to spend on:
To get this bursary you will have to speak to student services at your college. Your Personal Advisor can support you with this.
Student finance is what you apply for to cover the costs of your time at university. It’s a loan that will cover the costs of:
You can read about and apply for student finance here: https://www.gov.uk/get-undergraduate-student-loan
The UNITE foundation believe ‘being an estranged young person or care leaver shouldn’t mean being left behind and, through the scholarship, were being united with our futures through going to uni’. They can offer care leavers scholarships to go to university, having your accommodation and bills paid for over 3 years.
To find out more about the scholarship visit: https://thisisusatuni.org
There are also other bursaries that colleges can provide if you are over 19. Please discuss with your PA and your college.
University is a great option and there are many courses available for you to choose from. If you’re thinking about university there are a few things to consider:
When applying for university everything is done through a service called UCAS which stands for ‘Universities and Colleges Admission Service’. We will make lots of references to them throughout this section of the offer.
You should have an idea about what you want to study, this could be anything from psychology, art, music, aerospace engineering, zoology and more. There is so much to choose from you will have a variety of subjects that will feed any curiosity any interest.
To find out what course are available, visit UCAS and have a look: https://www.ucas.com/explore/subjects
Now you have an idea about the subject you want to study, now it is time to think about the university you want to study at. When considering this it’s worth thinking about:
Don’t forget to visit! Every university will have an ‘open day’ this is for people to come and look around, see the area and meet the tutors. We will pay for you to go to an open day and if you want your Personal Advisor to come with you, we would love to!
To look at all the universities in the UK you can visit UCAS here: https://digital.ucas.com/search
If you want to study abroad read about it here: https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/what-and-where-study/studying-abroad-consider-your-options
There is a website that has been specifically designed to support care leavers understand what universities offer them, this is called Propel.
They can provide you with information on every university in the UK and have lots of other helpful tips and support that you might find useful!
Visit Propel to find out more: https://www.propel.org.uk/UK/
Now it’s time to apply for university! This is a very exciting moment. You apply through UCAS, you will have to:
To find out all you need to know about applying for university visit UCAS here: https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/filling-your-ucas-undergraduate-application
Colleges offer a number of different courses and qualifications, so many that it would be a lot to list. Colleges can offer vocational courses – focused on job areas and A Levels. Some specialise in one more than another.
To find out which colleges are available in your area and what courses they offer visit: https://westsussex.local-offer.org/information_pages/219-further-education
West Sussex is brimming with education opportunities and support for you to access. Here are some of the key ones that might be helpful for you.
If you are 16-25 and need help looking for a job or apprenticeship, or finding suitable education or training the ‘Find It Out Centre’ can help. They are a West Sussex service so they know the local area and all the opportunities close to you. They can help with:
To access their services, you just need to fill out an online form and they will find a time to speak with you. You can fill out the form here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/education-children-and-families/your-space/support/support-for-young-people/neet-request-for-support/
Courses for adults aged 19 or over are offered through Aspire Sussex. Concessions are available for those that are on income-based benefits such as Universal Credit or Income Support. The amount of concession available depends on which course you are interested in doing.