We would encourage you to make education a top priority as perhaps the most important thing to opening up opportunities in adulthood. We will encourage you to stay in education for as long as you need or want to, but this not necessarily mean staying in school as there are a number of different options whether that is going to college, starting an apprenticeship or going to university; or finding a job if that is your preference.
We have specialist workers in Slough Children First’s Virtual School and in Slough Borough Council’s Young People’s Service who can help you explore your options, help you to make applications and support you once you start education, training or work. Your pathway plan will include any plans relating to your further education, training or employment ambitions.
The Slough Joint Parenting Panel endorsed the Slough Education, Employment and Training Strategy for Children Looked After and Care Leavers 2017-2020.
The Virtual School is a free and friendly service which supports care leavers up to the age of 25. The Virtual School supports care leavers with any aspect of education, and funds reasonable education requests e.g. text books, equipment (such as safety boots for a construction site), to do study for a job such as transport to education interviews.
The Virtual School provides support that is tailored to your individual learning needs. For some it might be about getting a first qualification in English or maths; for others it might be about higher levels of education qualifications such as university, level 3 BTEC or A-levels, gaining a college place or finding out about apprenticeships at all levels and in all industries, or vocational learning e.g. catering. The Virtual School offers drop in evening sessions once a week during term time, staffed by friendly tutors who can advise you on study options (food and drink is also provided!).
The Virtual School is available to talk about all things education. Phone them on 01753 875920.
Ready for higher education
There are a range of resources and opportunities to help you prepare for higher education, if that is what you would like to do:
- University visits – Brunel and Oxford (Virtual School)
- Information on Universities who provide free ‘all year round’ accommodation
- Apprenticeships at levels 4-6
- The Times guide to higher and degree apprenticeships
- Unite Foundation Scholarships Scheme
- Buttle Trust support for higher education funding
- Helen Kennedy Foundation bursaries for those in need of help from a disadvantaged start in education
- Social Mobility Foundation provides opportunities and networks to support 16-17 year olds
- UKCISA provides international student advice and guidance
- GSM London provides degree-level education in London
- London School of Economics
Employment and Training
If your preference is to move into work rather than continue with your education there are lots of opportunities available and we will support you in accessing these.
The Trust and council have apprenticeships schemes which might fit with your plans for the future, and they might even lead to a permanent position. The range of apprenticeships has broadened in the last two years with opportunities from business administration to youth work and customer services.
The council’s website has more information on finding work locally including job clubs, individual guidance, even starting your own business.
There are a wide range of services available providing additional information on education, employment and training opportunities:
- National Careers Service – 0800 100 900
- Job Clubs at venues across Slough
- Heathrow Careers Fair and taster visits
- Morrisby! Matching your skills to a career
- Learning to Work – range of activities including: work experience, work ready activities, business insight days, careers and apprenticeship events, enterprise activities, information/advice/guidance.
- Slough Young People’s Service Employment Day
- Inspiring Futures
- Slough Young People’s Service Life Skills Programme
- Slough Family Information Service
- Elevate Me
- Propel – general information on higher education for care leavers
- Prince’s Trust
- Duke of Edinburgh Award
- ASDAN taster courses
- Morgan Sindall Construction taster days – speak to the Virtual School to find out more
- Real Experience Café in Slough Level 1 Barista (details available through…)
- Cirdan Sailing Trust – sailing as a way of learning employment skills
- Pangbourne West Berkshire Path Hill Outdoors – distinctive outdoor learning opportunities
- Adventure Plus – individual and group outward bounds work
- JACs – working/learning through horses in Wokingham
- YES Consortium
- Aik Saath
- The Light
- Creative Support
- Wilderness Foundation
- Catch 22
- Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust
- Reading Football Club Community Trust
- National Citizen Service – open to all 16 and 17 year olds to help build skills for work and life while taking on new challenges and meeting new friends
- The Challenger Trust – character development activities helping young people to fulfil their potential