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4.6.1 Education of Looked After Children

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter applies to all Looked After children. The following government documents offer additional guidance:

Looked After Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) this guidance explains the respective roles of the home Authority and the Authority where the child lives when these are different.

Promoting the Education of Looked After Children (July 2014)

Keeping Children Safe in Education

Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions (2015): Statutory Guidance for Governing Bodies of Maintained Schools and Proprietors of Academies in England (DfE)

Guidance on Designated Teacher for Looked After Children

Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years: Statutory Guidance for Organisations who work with and Support Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (2015)

Exclusion from Maintained Schools, Academies and Pupil Referral Units in England: A Guide for those with Legal Responsibilities in Relation to Exclusion

Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools - Guidance (DfE, 2016)

Note that different provisions apply to children who acquire Looked After status as a result of a remand to local authority accommodation or Youth Detention Accommodation. In relation to those children, please see Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure, Care Planning.

RELATED CHAPTER

Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Procedure

AMENDMENT

In May 2018 this chapter was extensively revised and should be re-read in full.


Contents

  1. Promoting the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children
  2. The Personal Education Plan
  3. When a Child First becomes Looked After
  4. Stability and Continuity of Education
  5. When a Child Moves Out of Cambridgeshire
  6. Joining a New School
  7. Without a School Place
  8. Celebrating Achievements
  9. Absent from School
  10. School Exclusions
  11. Further and Higher Education


1. Promoting the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children

This procedure focuses on the educational support that Cambridgeshire County Council, as the ‘corporate parent’, gives to the children and young people in its care. It seeks to support social workers and teachers in providing not just the basics to ensure that children and young people achieve, but also to create aspiration and ambition, both in the children and young people themselves but also in those caring for them.

Under section 22 (3A) of the Children Act 1989, local authorities have a duty to promote the educational achievement of Looked After children. Government statistics clearly demonstrate that Looked After children do worse than their peers at all stages of education and there is a commitment at both national and local levels to address this. Within Cambridgeshire, this is supported and coordinated by the ‘Virtual School’, but everyone shares a responsibility to maximise the opportunities and attainment of all Looked After children.

Governing bodies of schools and colleges must appoint a Designated Teacher to promote the educational achievement of children who are Looked After and to ensure that this person has appropriate training.

The Council’s education policies seek to ensure that:

  • Closing the attainment and progress gap between Looked After children and their peers and creating a culture of high aspirations for them is a top priority;
  • Looked After children have access to a suitable range of high quality education placement options and that commissioning services for them takes account of the duty to promote their educational achievement;
  • The Virtual School monitors the attendance and educational progress of Cambridgeshire’s looked after children;
  • ‘Voices Matter’, Cambridgeshire’s Children in Care Council and the Corporate Parenting Sub-Committee regularly address the educational experiences raised by Looked After children and seek to ensure that all looked after children have access to education that enables them to realise their potential.

The Virtual School Head is responsible for ensuring that arrangements are in place to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of the authority’s Looked After children, including those placed out of authority.

The Virtual School monitors and evaluates the educational attainment and progress of children Looked After as if they all attended a single school.

They do this by:

  • Maintaining an up-to-date roll of Looked After children who are in school or college settings and gathering information about their education placement and educational progress; Monitoring attendance and absence; Allocating a member of the school team to each child to ensure their individual needs are met;
  • Informing headteachers and Designated Teachers in schools when they have a child on roll who is Looked After by Cambridgeshire;
  • Liaising with the Statutory Assessment and Resources Team (START) and other specialist teams within Cambridgeshire and also with Virtual Schools in other local authorities where Cambridgeshire children are placed;
  • Ensuring that social workers, Designated Teachers and schools, carers and IROs understand their role and responsibilities in initiating, developing, reviewing and updating the child’s Personal Education Plan (PEP) and delivering on the plans made; Promoting and monitoring the effective use of the Pupil Premium in PEPs;
  • Quality assuring PEPs to ensure they are up-to-date and effective and focus on educational outcomes and ensuring that all Looked After children, wherever they are placed, have a PEP;
  • Reporting regularly on the attainment of Looked After children through the authority’s corporate parenting structures.

Social workers, the Access to Resources Team (ART), the Virtual School, School Admissions and START should work together to ensure that appropriate education provision for a child is arranged at the same time as a care placement, taking account of the child’s needs and abilities, including any EHC Plan. Even where a placement is made in an emergency, an appropriate local education placement should be identified as soon as possible.

Some residential providers offer in-house education but children must not be placed there unless this is the most appropriate way of meeting their needs and explicit agreement has been obtained from both Education and Children’s Services managers to fund it in addition to the residential placement. The first priority must always be for the child to be placed in a suitable, local school, not least because this involves the ‘normal’ situation of home and school being separate. Where the child has an EHC Plan, the education provider must be able to deliver all elements of that Plan.

Where there is any disagreement with education colleagues about the most appropriate placement, or its funding, there should be full and frank discussions, including a meeting if necessary, before such a placement is made, to arrive at a ‘local authority’ position.

The role of carers in supporting education

All carers, in playing their part in corporate parenting, should have aspirations for the achievements of the children in their care. They are expected to attend all parent’s evenings, guidance events and other school / college activities to support engagement and educational attainment. They must encourage and support the completion of homework and undertake nightly/bedtime reading, as appropriate. In addition, they should engage children in activities that may be regarded as educational in a broader sense and that support children to ‘enjoy and achieve’. These can include, but are not limited to, sports, swimming, joining a library, riding a bike, joining clubs, Brownies and Guides, Cubs and Scouts.

Routine expenditure, including clothing e.g. Brownies, Scouts, youth club, swimming lessons, etc will be met from fostering payments or residential budgets. Looked after children cannot be charged directly for in-school music tuition. The cost of any such tuition must be covered by the school / setting or by Children’s Services and discussed within the PEP (see below).

If additional funding is required for more expensive special skills and interests, for example, riding, ballet, music, drama lessons,etc, this must be authorised by the social worker’s line manager.

It is very important for children to participate in family holidays with their carers or residential unit. However, holidays must not be taken during term time. This will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and is not acceptable.

As part of caring for children and young people it is vital that foster carers, residential workers and social workers ensure that achievements are rewarded, for example, improvements in work or good grades in exams. Further, the Children’s Services Participation Team hold an annual ‘achievement’ evening to celebrate and reward the success of Cambridgeshire’s Looked After Children.


2. The Personal Education Plan

The Personal Education Plan (PEP) allows the social worker, residential staff/carer and Designated Teacher at the child's school or, where the child has no school place, the education service, in conjunction with the child, to set out what needs to happen to meet the educational needs of the child.

Where a child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (ECHP), this must work in coordination with their Care Plan. The PEP needs to support both documents.

An initial PEP is undertaken by the Virtual School within 10 working days of receipt of the SOC 408 form. The first full PEP is arranged by the school in discussion with social worker, carers and Virtual School within 20 days. The PEP must be available for the first Looked After Review. PEPs should then be reviewed each school term so that rolling programme of planning and review is developed.

All looked after children up to the age of 18, must have a PEP, whether or not currently in education. It provides essential information to ensure that appropriate support is in place to enable the child to achieve the targets set. It is also a record of the child's leisure interests and educational achievement. In Cambridgeshire we use a bespoke on line Electronic PEP system (ePEP) with specifically designed ePEPs for Early Years, Special Schools, Mainstream Schools and for Post-16 pupils in education. NEET young people have a separate PEP system.

The Designated Teacher ensures the ePEP is undertaken, invites participants to and chairs the meeting. They are responsible for ensuring the interventions in the ePEP are carried out and the child’s progress towards education targets is monitored. The Virtual School provide training and guidance for designated teachers, may attend ePEP meetings for pupils where there are concerns about progress and will quality assure every ePEP.

The PEP is an evolving record, and arrangements for the flow of information to develop, review and update the PEP should be in place to ensure the Virtual School, Designated Teacher, carer and, where appropriate, child and parent have a copy of the latest version of the document. The Social Worker is responsible for distribution of the ePEP to those who have an appropriate right to receive it.

The PEP should set clear objectives and targets for the child, covering the following:

  • Chronology of education and training history which provides a record of the child's educational experience and progress in terms of National Curriculum levels of attainment, including information about educational institutions attended and the reasons for leaving, attendance and conduct record, academic and other achievements, any special educational needs, an indication of the extent to which the child's education has been disrupted before entering care or accommodation;
  • Existing arrangements for education and training, including details of any special educational provision and any other provision to meet the child's educational or training needs and promote educational achievement;
  • Any planned changes to existing arrangements and provision to minimise disruption;
  • The child's leisure interests;
  • The respective roles of those involved with the child in promoting the child's educational achievements and leisure interests;
  • The effective use of the Pupil Premium (up to the age of 16) and application for bursary (post-16) should be discussed as part of PEP Meetings;
  • Details of who will take the plan forward, with timescales for action and review.

The PEP should:

  • Identify developmental (including any related to attachment) and educational needs (short and longer term) in relation to skills, knowledge, subject areas and experiences;
  • Include SMART short-term targets, including progress monitoring of each of the areas identified against development and educational needs;
  • Include SMART longer-term plans for educational targets and aspirations. These should, according to age and understanding, typically focus on public examinations, further and higher education, managing money and savings, work experience and career plans and aspirations;
  • Identify actions, with time scales, for specific individuals intended to support the achievement of agreed targets and use of any additional resources (e.g. the pupil premium) specifically designated to support the attainment of looked after children;
  • Highlight access to effective intervention strategies and how this will make/has made a difference to achievement levels;
  • Specify who should receive a copy of the school report. Birth parents should always receive a copy where the young person is accommodated (s20) and consideration should also be given to this where the child is the subject of a Care Order. The carers and social worker must always receive a copy.

The social worker is responsible for the distribution of the ePEP and for ensuring only those entitled to receive the document do so.

The Virtual School uses electronic (online) Personal Education Plans (ePEPs). Those currently in use are:

  • Initial PEP (paper based);
  • Early Years (Rising 2s – Reception);
  • Mainstream School (Reception to Year 11);
  • Post 16 (Year 12 – 13);
  • SEND Special School (Reception to Year 13).

The full ePEP is undertaken as a meeting at which the social worker, carer (foster carer or representative from a residential placement), Designated Teacher for Looked After Children in school, parents and the child or young person (if appropriate) will be present. Where additional support is required, the Virtual School will be represented at the meeting to offer advice, guidance and, if required, challenge to the school or setting.

All sections of the ePEP must be completed by the school and social worker and the Virtual School will quality assure and then approve it as an appropriate record of the child’s education provision, for circulation by the social worker. A copy must be retained on the child’s file and the Care Plan amended as required. Independent Reviewing Officers have access to the ePEP system and are able to view completed ePEPs such that pertinent education information can inform Reviews.

Computers for Looked After Children

If a computer/laptop is required for educational purposes, this should be identified in the PEP meeting. The Virtual School staff member will apply for a device; suitable ‘parental controls’ are the responsibility of the carer.

Where a disabled child requires specialist computer equipment the social worker and Virtual School should consider how best to provide this (including discussion with the SEND team, as appropriate).

Reviewing and Updating PEPs

Second and subsequent PEP meetings should, where possible, correspond with the Looked After Review cycle and PEP decisions and recommendations must be available to the child's Independent Reviewing Officer at the Looked After Review. Where the child has an EHC Plan, its review may be scheduled to coincide with the LAC review.

Proposals that would lead to significant changes in arrangements (e.g. a change of school, a request for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment) and/or to increases in expenditure (private tuition, a jointly-funded placement) should be brought to the attention of the IRO who can check progress at the next Looked After Review.

The IRO has access to the ePEP to ensure they are aware of education information for the Looked After Review and should ensure that the PEP’s effectiveness is scrutinised in sufficient detail as part of each Review and at other times if necessary. Where a child has an EHC Plan, the IRO should ensure that the PEP and LAC Reviews are linked with any review of those needs.

The IRO should raise any unresolved concerns about a child’s PEP or education provision with the school, social worker and the Virtual School Head.


3. When a Child First becomes Looked After

3.1 Notification

An initial PEP is undertaken by the Virtual School within 10 working days of receipt of the SOC 408 form. The first full PEP is arranged by the school in discussion with social worker, carers and Virtual School within 20 days. The PEP must be available for the first Looked After Review. PEPs should then be reviewed each school term so that rolling programme of planning and review is developed.

If the child has an EHC plan or is in the process of assessment, the social worker should ensure START are aware.

The Virtual School will allocate a team member to the child and they will inform the Designated Teacher at the child's school.

3.2 The First Personal Education Plan

The first Personal Education Plan should:

  • Identify the educational and social factors that may have caused or may cause in the future a detrimental effect on the child’s educational achievement;
  • Identify the support required to reduce the impact of these factors;
  • Identify the child’s immediate and priority needs and targets, (e.g. to maintain the current school place, make transport arrangements, find a new school, obtain short-term interim education);
  • Incorporate any Individual Education Plan or other school-based plan;
  • Identify a named person for the day to day management of the PEP and establish lines of communication between the staff/carer, school/education staff and social worker - the basis of a working partnership;
  • Clarify contact arrangements and any safeguarding issues regarding parents;
  • Establish the importance of prompt information sharing and any boundaries of confidentiality (for example who, within the school will know that the child is looked after); Also, whether the child has a ‘cover story’ to help them fit in or avoid difficult questions, etc;
  • Agree a date for the next PEP review meeting and how and when the next (full) PEP will be drawn up.

N.B. The core provision of education for pupils with EHC Plans can only be changed if the EHC Plan has been amended at an annual review.


4. Stability and Continuity of Education

Where the Local Authority proposes making any change to the child's placement that would have the effect of disrupting the arrangements made for education and training, they must ensure that other arrangements are made for education or training that meet the child's needs and are consistent with the PEP.

The Head of Service must approve any change of placement affecting a child in Key Stage 4, except in an emergency or where the placement is terminated because of an immediate risk of serious harm to the child or to protect others from serious injury.

In those circumstances, the social worker and Virtual School must make appropriate arrangements to promote the child's education as soon as reasonably practicable, taking account of:

  • The child's wishes and feelings;
  • The wishes and feelings of the parent(s) where the child is accommodated (where possible) and where appropriate where the child is the subject of a Care Order);
  • The educational provision’s ability to promote educational achievement consistent with the PEP;
  • Consultation with the Independent Reviewing Officer;
  • Consultation with the Designated Teacher at the child's school.

Transport. Wherever possible, children should be taken to school by their carer and the use of third-party transport providers should be the exception. In order to maintain continuity of school, those with responsibility for school transport should be approached to provide assistance if required. A decision will be made taking into account the child's age and the distance from the child's address to the nearest suitable school.

Medical conditions. Governing bodies have a statutory duty to make arrangements to support pupils at school with medical conditions. The Designated Medical Officer can support schools with these duties. For more information see Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions (2015): Statutory Guidance for Governing Bodies of Maintained Schools and Proprietors of Academies in England (DfE).

Pregnancy. Becoming pregnant is not in itself a reason to stop attending school, nor to cease education.

Where a young woman becomes pregnant, the social worker must ensure that she is supported to remain in education if at all possible and, if placed out of Cambridgeshire, arrange for her to receive support from the education authority for the area in which she lives and/or the school she attends


5. When a Child Moves Out of Cambridgeshire

If a child is placed in the area of a different local authority but continues to attend the same school as before, the procedure outlined in Section 3.2, The First Personal Education Plan applies.

If the child is to be placed in the area of a different local authority and will need a new school, efforts to obtain a school place must (unless it is an emergency placement) begin well before the move to a new placement. The Virtual School will lead in coordinating this activity.

Whenever possible, a child should not be moved to a new placement until they also have a school place.

Where the child does not have a school place - see Section 7, Without a School Place.

Pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans

Where a child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (previously a Statement of Special Educational Needs), the Plan must be transferred to the ‘host’ authority, unless the placement is providing care and education. The social worker should explore the host area’s Local Offer to identify appropriate support services for the child – see the Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Procedure.

Where a child does not have an EHCP, but is thought to require one, the social worker in discussion with the Virtual School and parents (where appropriate) should apply to the host area for the assessment to be undertaken.

EHC Plans are subject to (at least) annual review. Where possible/helpful, these meetings should coincide with the child’s Looked After Review and/or PEP to ensure a holistic discussion of the child’s needs.


6. Joining a New School

The choice of school should be based on a discussion between the Virtual School, the child’s social worker, their carers and, if appropriate, birth parents. Looked After children are given the highest priority within school admission arrangements. Virtual School leads, working with the education setting, should ensure the Pupil Premium is utilised to fund additional provision according to individual need.

Schools judged by Ofsted to be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ should be prioritised for Looked After children in need of a new school. Unless there are exceptional evidence-based reasons, Looked After children should not be placed in a school judged by Ofsted to be ‘inadequate’.

The child’s wishes and feelings should be taken into account and the suitability of the education setting tested by arranging an informal visit with the child.

Changes of school should be minimised to avoid disruption to the child's education and should not take place in the middle of a school year or in years 10 and 11, unless this is unavoidable - see Section 4, Stability and Continuity of Education.

School details will need to be amended on the electronic record.

6.1 Notification

The Designated Teacher or the Head Teacher must be informed by the social worker - ideally before placement, but always within 48 hours - that the child is Looked After and must be provided with a copy of the child's current PEP. Other members of staff who need to know should be identified at the PEP meeting, taking into account the child’s wishes and the general duty of confidentiality.

6.2 Pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans

A change of school at any time needs the agreement of START who are responsible for all Education, Health and Care Plans. This needs to be discussed as early as possible to ensure a suitable school placement can be identified.

The child’s social worker should ensure that they are aware of the contents of the Plan, including what additional support is specified and who provides it.

6.3 The First PEP in a new school

A meeting should be held at the new school as soon as practicable.

A new or updated PEP should be in place within the first 20 days of a child joining a new school. Subsequent PEPs should correspond, where possible, with the Looked After Review cycle.

In addition to the requirements outlined above, the first PEP in a new school should:

  • Identify the child’s immediate and priority needs (such as English as an additional language, literacy support, behaviour management);
  • Establish contact between residential staff/carer, school staff and social worker - the basis of a working partnership;
  • Identify a named person for the day-today management of the PEP;
  • Clarify contact arrangements and any safeguarding issues regarding parents;
  • Establish the importance of prompt information sharing and any boundaries of confidentiality (for example who, within the school will know that the child is looked after); Also, whether the child has a ‘cover story’ to help them fit in or avoid difficult questions, etc;
  • Share important information - perhaps including the Placement Information Record;
  • Ensure records are forwarded from the previous school and/or carer;
  • Agree a date for the next PEP review meeting and how and when the next full PEP is going to be drawn up (this needs to take account of the Looked After Review cycle because the PEP has to be ready before or at the Review; but also term dates, parents’ evenings, school target setting days, Individual Education Plan reviews, annual reviews of Education, Health and Care Plans etc.).


7. Without a School Place

Finding a school place is primarily the social worker's responsibility having sought advice and guidance from the Virtual School, but this may be delegated to, or shared with, others.

7.1 PEPs

Children without a school place must still have an up to date PEP. It should address the child's immediate educational needs and the longer-term planning.

7.2 Children Placed within the local authority area

Where the child does not have a school place, the Virtual School will provide support and individualised education until the child is on roll. If a mainstream school is not appropriate to his or her needs, and alternative provision is required, Cambridgeshire operates a policy where the local authority for primary schools and secondary schools for secondary age pupils take responsibility for the education of those pupils. Under these circumstances the Virtual School should be asked to take a lead role in identifying and approving the child’s provision. The local education service should identify a school place within 20 working days at the latest; and should be asked to provide alternative education if a school place cannot be found immediately or is not appropriate.

7.3 Children Placed in a different local authority area

Where the child does not have a school place because one cannot be found, or the child has been placed at very short notice, the child’s social worker should notify the Virtual School who will liaise with the education service in the area where the child is placed and request that a school be identified for the child as soon as possible. The assistance of the local education service (and the local SEN adviser if appropriate) should also be sought. Unless Section 7.4, Pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans applies, the education service local to the placement should identify a school place within 20 working days at the latest and should be asked to provide alternative education if a school place cannot be found immediately, or is not appropriate.

7.4 Pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans

Applications for school places for pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan should be made through START not directly with a school. This needs to be planned for as early as possible.

The Virtual School will advise and liaise with SEND to support this process.

See Children and Young People Aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Procedure.


8. Celebrating Achievements

As well as being highlighted and celebrated by carers and others at the time, children’s educational (and other) achievements should be acknowledged at one or more of the following times: at Looked After Reviews, in the PEP, at school-based meetings, in school reports, and after exams.

Recording a Child’s Achievements

Each Looked After Child's educational attainments at Key Stages 1-3, level 2 and 3 qualifications, vocational progress or apprenticeship success should be recorded, including on ICS and in the PEP.


9. Absent from School

Whilst the school attendance of all Looked After children is monitored on a daily basis by Welfare Call, the residential staff/foster carer must notify the school and the child’s social worker immediately if the child does not attend school for any reason.

In any case where the child has been absent from school for more than 10 days, the social worker should liaise with the school, the child, residential staff/carers and any other relevant person to address:

  • The reasons for the absence;
  • How to ensure the child returns to education as soon as possible;
  • Whether and how the child can be helped to catch up on what s/he has missed.

Where necessary, the Children Missing from Education Procedure must be followed - see Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual, Children Missing from Care, Home or Education Procedure.


10. School Exclusions

Where a school has concerns about a Looked After child’s behaviour, the Virtual School should be informed and, if appropriate, involved at the earliest opportunity. This is to enable the Virtual School, working with others, to:

  • Consider what additional assessment and support (such as help for the classroom teacher, one-to-one therapeutic work or a suitable alternative placement) needs to be put in place to address the causes of the child’s behaviour and prevent the need for exclusion;
  • Make any additional arrangements to support the child’s on-going education in the event of an exclusion.

Where a looked after child is excluded from school, the child's social worker must inform the Independent Reviewing Officer.

10.1 Fixed term exclusions

Headteachers should, as far as possible, avoid excluding any looked-after child. Exclusion from school should be a last resort for children who are looked after, therefore it is important to work with the school and carers to intervene as soon as a child's behaviour becomes a cause for concern.

Schools may sometimes suggest to carers or the social worker that a child does not attend for a period without formal action being taken by the school. This is not an acceptable response to difficulties at school and should not be agreed. It must immediately be discussed with line manager and the Virtual School and alternative strategies considered.

Where a child is excluded from school for a fixed period, the school will provide appropriate education from the first day of the exclusion (for non LAC pupils this is from the sixth day). The school will communicate the reasons for the exclusion to the residential staff/carer and the social worker. Whoever is most appropriate to do so will discuss this with the child. The social worker should inform the parents, if appropriate.

The social worker, in consultation with the child carers and parents (where appropriate), must seek advice from the Virtual School, as to whether to appeal against the decision to exclude the child.

If the child is in primary school and receives a fixed term exclusion or is in secondary school and is excluded for more than five days, the social worker and Virtual school lead should ensure a reintegration meeting is held within the five days to discuss his/her return and how this can best be supported.

10.2 Permanent exclusions

When a child is permanently excluded but is remaining in the same foster or residential placement, the social worker will liaise urgently with the Virtual School lead to agree who will contact the local education service to find an alternative school placement. In Cambridgeshire, if a secondary school permanently excludes a pupil they remain responsible for the education of the child until they are placed on roll at a new school. If the child is in a primary school, the local authority becomes responsible for the education of the child once the governors have confirmed the exclusion. There should be an expectation that any provision is full-time and the social worker should push for this, in discussion with the Virtual School lead.

In the case of permanent exclusion a meeting of a committee of governors will be held within fifteen days to review the decision. If the committee decides to uphold the decision to permanently exclude, an appeal can be made within fifteen school days. Advice must be sought from the Virtual School regarding the appeals form can be completed by a foster carer or anyone who has Parental Responsibility for the child.


11. Further and Higher Education

11.1 Post 16 Bursary Fund / College Funding

All young people who are over 16 and either currently Looked After or classed as a care leaver (if they meet the residency criteria) will be eligible to receive a bursary of up to £1200 per annum. To be eligible, the young person would need to be aged under 19 on 31st August of the academic year in which they start their programme of study. They can continue to be supported via this Bursary until the end of the academic year in which they turn 19, or until the end of the programme of study, whichever is sooner.

11.2 Higher Education

Care leavers continue to receive a service from the Local authority until they reach 21 years of age (this can be extended beyond 21 if there are additional vulnerabilities). If a young person is in full time education or training, the leaving care support can continue until they reach the end of their agreed programme of education up until the age of 25. The support should be detailed in the Pathway Plan.

For further details see Leaving Care and Transition Procedure.

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