70% of Nottinghamshire care leavers are now entering education, employment, or training
Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s committee on Monday, 15 March, heard that there has been an increase in the number of looked after young people leaving statutory education, going on to education, employment, or training. The figures for the academic year 2019-20, saw that number reach 70 per cent for the first time, with the majority of those attending further education colleges or school sixth forms.
The council’s leaving care team works closely with young people and this focused effort has seen growing numbers of those leaving care going on to further education. Currently, there are 31 Nottinghamshire care leavers studying at university, up from 26 two years ago. This year, one young person sat their entrance exam to Oxford University and has been offered a place. Another young person has secured a role in their chosen career of translation services and is working in the industry while completing their studies.
Nottinghamshire County Council is proud to have been recognised by several universities, including University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and De Montfort University, as having one of the best packages to support young people accessing university. The Leaving Care Team remains involved with those young people who require any additional support throughout their studies. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the team has been in close contact with young people attending university to ensure none have been struggling with being left alone during lockdown.
Nottinghamshire’s looked after children are supported throughout their schooling at every stage of their education to monitor their progress and identify areas where additional support may be available to help them to reach their full potential. Pupils leaving statutory schooling at 16 are required to stay in education, employment, or training until they are 18-years-old.
Care leavers currently not in education, employment, or training (NEET) are supported to find a suitable route into one of these areas. The council’s full-time achievement adviser provides dedicated support to 16-18-year-olds in the council’s care. They have close links to schools and they support pupils who may benefit from individual guidance to help them access suitable education, employment, or training.
Councillor Philip Owen, Chair of the Children and Young People’s committee said, “I am proud of our young people and the front line teams who work so hard to support them and provide a wealth of opportunities for their future following a difficult start in life.
“I am delighted with this progress which demonstrates that being a child who is looked after should be no barrier to what they can achieve if they have the right support and determination.
“Our teams are committed to ensuring that opportunities are available and accessible to everyone leaving care in Nottinghamshire. We want the young people in our care to achieve the best they can by supporting themto aspire and achieve in their lives.
“Seeing such a positive outcomes for our young people leaving care is encouraging and we continue to provide a range of support for those care leavers who are not yet in post-16 education, employment and training.”