Education is an important part of the lives of all children and young people.
School is a big part of your daily life and routine and it can provide much needed consistency. School is somewhere you are able to build relationships with adults as well as people your own age, and find out what you are good at and what you enjoy, all while learning. A good education gives you the best options for the future, whatever you decide to do.
Every child and young person in care will have a personal education plan (PEP). A PEP forms part of your care plan and will make sure you get the most out of your time in education.
Every school has a designated teacher to look after the children in care in the school.
What is a personal education plan (PEP)?
Your PEP is a plan of action for you to do well at school. It holds a record of your achievements and any targets set. It will say how you will be supported to achieve these targets and will address any additional needs you may have. It will also include information about your attendance, and your views about your education.
What happens if I want to continue with my Education after age 16 or 18?
If you are under 18 you will be entitled to a living allowance from your local authority which may be the same as any benefits you may be entitled to (jobseekers allowance/income support). The local authority will support you in your placement or provide somewhere suitable for you to live.
If you are 19 years old or under you will also be eligible for a bursary of £1,200 a year from your college through the 16-19 Bursary Fund scheme which replaced the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
As a care leaver you may have special priority at your college to receive an Access to Learning Grant and other funding from your LEA so it is worth having a chat with Student Support Services and explaining you are a care leaver, also see: direct.gov.uk
What support will I get from my local authority?
Your Personal Education Plan (PEP) and Care Plan should inform your Pathway Plan which should be written with you and your personal advisor to help you plan for the future. It should contain a statement of your career aspirations and ambitions and outline the support that will be in place to get you to where you want to be. This includes supporting you in a full time Higher Education or Further Education course past your 21st birthday.
To help you get on successfully in education/training they should look at paying for:
- Registration fees
- Course fees
- Exam fees
- Equipment you need
- Course books
- Activities with the course
- Transport to and from the course or you place of work
- Any clothes or uniform you need to do the course or job
You will be entitled to support from your leaving care team if you are in full time education or training until you are 25 years old. Your local authority should have a clear policy outlining the support available for young people including what sort of financial support you can expect and what your accommodation arrangement will be including over the summer holidays.