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Post 16

The duty to promote the educational achievement of a child in care extends to young people aged 16 or 17 preparing to leave care. These are referred to in the Children Act 1989 as ‘eligible children’.

All young people post 16 should have a personal education plan (PEP) that is maintained as part of the preparation and review of the pathway plan and builds on the young person’s educational progress

It should include the young person’s progress in education or training; and how he or she is able to access all the services needed to prepare for training, further or higher education or employment.

Links are made with further education (FE) colleges and higher education (HE) institutions and that care leavers are supported to find establishments that understand and work to meet the needs of looked after children and care leavers.

Post 16 support:

  • A virtual school worker and specialist careers adviser allocated to each young person.
  • Increased support and monitoring for young people that are not accessing education, training or employment.
  • A minimum of one PEP meeting a year to be attended by a virtual school worker or a specialist careers adviser.
  • Pre-application help
  • Careers and progression support.
  • Specialist support unaccompanied asylum seeking young people.


​Each eligible care leaver should be informed of the 16-19 bursary fund​ available whilst in further education. The Student Bursary Support Service​ ​portal enables young parents and childcare providers to manage Care to Learn applications. Further information is available from

Education institutions can manage Care to Learn applications and/or vulnerable student bursary claims.

Considering University?

Unite Foundation​ has free university accommodation for the whole time at uni – 365 day accommodation at a selection of universities for care leavers. Please see the flyer and additional information​ for further details.

University scholarship

Considering an apprenticeship?

New support for young care leavers starting an apprenticeship (DfE May,2018)

Care leavers who choose to start an apprenticeship will receive a £1000 bursary to help the transition into the workplace.