Making the leap from care to independent life at college or university can be both scary and exciting. If you want to be a student there is loads of support available for care leavers to make it happen.
Is more education for me?
Top reasons why you should go
- 1College isn't like school - you're treated like an adult. And at uni, you'll live independently and make your own decisions.
- 2You’ll always feel proud of your achievement and get confidence from it.
- 3You’ll be able to take part in loads of activities, join clubs and try new things that aren't related to your studies.
- 4When you qualify, you'll have access to more jobs* - although you might find you want to go on to even more education!
- 5You’ll fit in. Colleges and unis welcome all kinds of people from all types of backgrounds.
- 6You can study something you're good at and care about.
- 7You’ll have the potential to earn more money.**
- 8You can get real-life experience - lots of vocational courses at college and uni are designed and taught by industry professionals. Some courses include work placements, which means you'll gain technical skills and useful contacts while you study.
- 9You’ll meet new people and make lasting friendships.
- 10You'll have access to lots of support to help you get there - and stay there - so why not take advantage of it?
*Around one in every four jobs require a degree, and the number of jobs requiring no qualifications at all is falling.
**You're more likely to get a job and earn more if you complete a further education qualification - and graduates earn 55% more during their working lives than those that start work at 18.
Things you can do now:
- 1Search Propel for subjects, sports or hobbies you enjoy - there’s lots to explore.
- 2Think about the subjects you love or are good at and use Propel to find out where you can study them. If you love writing poems, or playing computer games, you might be surprised to know that there are courses for both.
- 3Go on a university or college tour or attend one of their taster sessions. It’s a great way of seeing what studying is really like. Some run events designed especially for care leavers, but you're free to go along to any of their open days. Get in touch with the named contact to find out more.
- 4Ask your social worker or throughcare worker to help you write a pathway plan, or to update it if you have one already.
- 5Read/watch the inspirational stories from other care leavers below.
- 6Speak to your designated teacher or schools careers adviser about going to college or uni. They'll give you guidance on the subjects you need to take to make sure you can study the course you want to do. They will also help you think about jobs you might like to do in the future.
- 7Look for relevant work experience to get a taste of working life. Work experience looks great on your personal statement and will give you something extra to talk about in your interview. Universities and colleges are interested in much more than the grades you have. They'll be really impressed if you have worked in an area related to your choice of subject.
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In care, a care leaver or supporting someone who is? Looking for help and advice?
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