Northampton College recognises the vital role further education colleges play in the successful transition to adulthood for students in care.
FE Colleges do not just focus on education and employment outcomes, they provide a ‘safe haven’ for students in care who during this time are experiencing many changes in their lives.
We are committed to improving outcomes for children in care and care leavers by providing them with a designated teacher, who is also a safeguarding officer.
Northampton College offers an invitation to all students who have disclosed that they are looked after/leaving care to an appointment before the summer, so they can meet key members of the team in Student Services and complete their bursary application.
Northampton College is engaged in the Personal Education Plan (PEP) process and completes two, termly PEPs for each student who holds looked after status. The Person Education Plan (PEP) is the statutory tool to ensure that everyone is actively prioritising the education of the young person, carefully tracking their progress and supporting them to achieve and to be aspirational.
All looked after children (LAC) have a statutory care plan, which is drawn up and reviewed by the Local Authority that looks after them. The Personal Education Plan (PEP) is a legal part of the care plan; which is a statutory requirement for LAC from a child of 3 years if in education provision up to the age of 18.
The key personnel who should be involved in every PEP meeting are:
- The young person
- The social worker
- The carer
- Designated teacher (DT).
Northampton College provides a progress report for the annual review for looked after students each year. We also work closely with children’s services of Local Authorities to ensure they have a point of contact at the College through the DT.
Financial support for vulnerable learners
The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:
- In care
- Care leavers (under 19yrs at the start of the academic year)
- Receiving income support, or universal credit because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them such as a child or partner
- Receiving disability living allowance or personal independence payments in their own right as well as employment and support allowance or universal credit in their own right.
Where students are identified as being eligible for a vulnerable group bursary to support relevant costs for education, (to a maximum award level of £1,200) they will be awarded support to cover essential course costs including kit, equipment, and travel (pro-rata for courses less than 30 weeks).
The college will consider all reasonable requests for the balance of an award to be used for additional relevant activities or relevant items that aid the development of a student’s education (i.e. enrichment activities/additional books).
Relevant additional costs will be identified by college staff together with the student in receipt of the vulnerable bursary as part of the college support process (i.e. PEP meetings, 1:1s etc)
The College does not support the cost of laptops or personal computers.