The aim of the Virtual School Post 16 Officer is to work with a range of professionals to improve outcomes for all of our children and young people in care in Years 12 and 13 and for our care leavers, through direct work with young people and driving improvement in practice amongst professionals and providers.
There are a variety of options for you to consider for Post 16 – these include education, employment or training.
Contact: The Virtual School’s post 16 officer is Helen Woodvine Helen.Woodvine@wolverhampton.gov.uk
If you wish to continue in education, there are lots of options available to you, including Colleges and Sixth Forms. You could study A-Levels, T Levels or Vocational Qualifications at Level 1, 2 or 3 in a range of subjects. You can usually also study Maths and English alongside vocational qualifications. Each College or Sixth Form will have their own entry requirements for each different course, so be sure to check these when applying.
You might wish to enter employment, and find an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of industries. Apprenticeships include the opportunity to earn money whilst gaining a recognised qualification, alongside completing your Maths and English qualifications if necessary.
You might want to find a job but feel like you need more experience first, and to gain your Maths and English qualifications. Training providers offer a range of study programmes which might be suitable – giving you a significant amount of work experience in an industry of your choosing, whilst gaining employability skills and qualifications.
All children and young people in care in school years 12 and 13 (aged 16/17) should have a quality, up to date PEP. It is also good practice for care leavers to have a PEP. The 16+ PEP form should be utilised for all post-16 PEPs. The frequency of the care leaver PEP should be the same as the regular PEP (this should be organised to work in harmony with the Pathway Plan).
Attendees at the PEP meeting should include the care leaver, personal advisor and appropriate individuals from the tutor/college/training provider. The meeting should normally be chaired by the education provider and the Young Persons Advisor’s (YPA) should ensure that the completed PEP is logged onto the child’s electronic file, and that all attendees are provided with a copy. THE POST 16 PEP WILL BE MOVING TO THE ECLIPSE PLATFORM IN SEPTEMBER 2021.
The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund pays a bursary of up to £1,200 per academic year if studying full-time to support young people in one of the defined vulnerable groups (those who do not have access to parental support and those receiving certain benefits in their own right) if participatng in education. It also enables institutions to make discretionary awards to those young people they assess as facing the greatest need. It is available to Children in Care and Care Leavers in Post 16 education (e.g. sixth form, college, training providers) aged 16‐18 years at the start of the academic year.
The young person needs to apply to their educational provider for the bursary. There may be an application form to complete but no financial details are required of the young person or of who they live with. The Social Worker will need to provide evidence that the young person is being supported by the Local Authority. The educational provider has to apply to the government once the student has enrolled. Each provider can administer the bursary in different ways.
A bursary is money that you, or your education or training provider, can use to pay for things like: clothing, books and other equipment for your course, transport and lunch on days you study or train. There should be a discussion with the educational provider and young person to identify the course related costs and how the bursary will be administered. This should then be reviewed during the academic year and changes made where necessary.
Sooner or later you will leave care and it's important that you have support to do this. You may be leaving care to live independently, return to your family, or you may choose to stay with your foster carer after you turn 18. Connects is a new resource for care leavers to access offers and information. Care leavers who sign up to Connects will receive tailored communications from the Covenant based on the details they submit, allowing Connects to provide them with appropriate employment and recreational opportunities. It also allows Connects to identify the needs and ambitions of care leavers in different locations and work with partners in these areas to provide meaningful opportunities. From July 1st all care leavers who want to take up Covenant opportunities will need to be signed up to Connects, however signing up only takes a couple of minutes and is effective immediately.