Education, relationships, health and money as a looked after child

Sixth-form and college

If you have done your GCSE’s or other qualifications in year 11 you can choose to:

  • Stay at school to do A’ levels or vocational courses
  • Go to college to do A’ levels or vocational courses
  • Do an apprenticeship
  • Go into full-time work or volunteering, combined with part-time education or training.

You will continue to have a PEP at school or college and a progression plan if you are in training, apprenticeship or work.

The age at which you can leave school has been raised to to17 years old. In 2015 you will not be able to leave school until you are 18 years old. 

Moving on to college or sixth form

If you decide to go to college or a sixth form at another school, you will still have a designated tutor or teacher at either your college or new school to give you help and support.

You will also still be able to get help and advice from the Newham Virtual School. You can phone the team on 020 3373 1336 or email

Money to help you stay on to sixth form or go to college

If you are a looked-after child or a care leaver and you decide to stay on to sixth form or go to college, you can apply for a 16-19 Bursary of £1200 from your school or college.

The bursary can help to pay for the cost of studying, such as meals, equipment and transport costs.

To qualify for the 16-19 Bursary, you must be under 19 years old at the start of the academic year (31 August). 

You can’t get a 16-19 Bursary if you are:

  • At university
  • On a paid apprenticeship
  • In prison or a young offender institution or released on a temporary release such as day release.

Education after you reach 18

What you do once you are an adult – whether you get a job, go into training, or go on to university – will be part of your pathway plan and preparations for leaving care.