Information, advice and guidance

We want you to feel settled and successful when you leave our care, and we want you to succeed in your education, training and employment.

You're expected to stay in education, training or employment with training until you're 18 years old to gain qualifications. After 18 we can look at the support you may need and you'll be able to access advice and guidance about your options at any age.  We will ask you how you're doing and we'll record this in your personal education plan (PEP) or your Pathway Plan, or both.

Specialist advisers from our partner agencies will make sure you have full and up-to-date advice about:

  • courses

  • apprenticeships and traineeships

  • employment

  • volunteering

  • work experience; we're working with Careers South West to support you in exploring this option, so speak to your social worker or personal adviser

what you can do if you have an educational, health and care (EHC) plan

Onwards and Upwards

Your PA is there to help you to prepare to live independently and to offer advice and support to you as you leave care. PAs get involved in discussions about your needs and your Pathway Plan and will help put into place the support you are entitled to at the earliest appropriate stage.

Virtual School

Like many other local authorities, we have a Virtual School in our Education department. The Virtual School is a small team of people who ensure you get all the help you need to make informed decisions about what you want to do next in education, taking into account your aspirations, skills and potential. If you are 16, 17 or 18 you can expect to have an individual Personal Education Plan (PEP). They also make sure there are termly PEP review meetings until you turn 19.
The team’s experienced Education Advisors will support you to find up-to-date information about careers, jobs, education courses, volunteering and training opportunities, and inform you if you are eligible for an education bursary.

Education Psychology Service

If you have an Education Health and Care Plan, we can be part of the review process and advise you on what educational placements meet your needs. We’re normally only involved if you need to change placement or if your needs have changed. The EHCP can stay with you until you’re 25 if you continue in education and continue to have special educational needs and disability. You can request an education, health and care plan from the age of 16. There are professionals and carers who can help you to do this or do it for you.

Young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)

Not sure what to do with your future? We can help you access these projects that are for young people up to the age of 25 who are not in education, employment or training:

  • The BEETs Service

    The Barnet Education, Employment and Training Service (BEETs) is employed through Cambridge Education in conjunction with the London Borough of Barnet.

    The BEETs service provides a range of advice and support services to all young people in Barnet, as part of their statutory duty

    The BEET team provides many opportunities for young people who are not in employment, education or training including:

  • BTG – Bridging the Gap Life skills course
    This is a five-week course concentrating on Care Leavers who are not in Education, Employment and Training (NEET). This project is mainly centred on life skills and confidence building.

  • Calm
    Careers and Learning Mentoring Service provides intensive support to help young people engage in sustainable education, employment and training.

  • Boost
    This project is focusing on two of the most deprived areas of the borough, with the highest number of NEET young people. One member of the team is based in Burnt Oak Library and another in Childs Hill.

    It helps unemployed residents from the Childs Hill Ward (and also the Whitefields area near Brent Cross) to find work, but will also help the wider community with housing support, benefits advice and training opportunities to help them achieve their goals.

If you are over 21 and want to go back into education or training, you will be given advice and support to consider your options through Onwards and Upwards. This will include exploring:

  • suitability of the course

  • using savings to support you during this time

  • combining work and study

  • applying for financial support from charities and trusts; and

  • considering if you are eligible for funding from your employer.

Continuing your education

If you’re still in secondary education you will have lots of support from:

  • Your subject teachers, pastoral care and your form teacher

  • The Virtual School - They will help you with any school work issues, problems with attendance or anything else connected to your study and the school you attend

  • Personal Education Plans (PEP) - To look at what further support is needed as well as celebrate your achievements. Meetings are attended by your social worker, form teacher, head of year and virtual support worker. If you attend college, your PEP will continue to look at your educational needs and the support available until your 18th birthday.

If you wish to continue in education after school, and go to college or university you will be entitled to the 16-19 bursary (external link) from the government, and moving on to university you can get a Higher Education Bursary from us and will be eligible for student finances. There are a range of schools and colleges in Barnet, you can search for them here.

Your virtual support worker, social worker and personal advisor can offer you some really good advice about higher education and help you fulfil your ambitions.

Getting some training

If you are aged between 16-25 years, Barnet offers a lot of support to help you develop your skills and find a job.

  • Best Traineeship is a sixteen-week course (2 days per week). All young people who attend receive a financial reward based on weekly attendance. They can work on a nationally recognised qualification, English and Maths qualification, CV writing and interview skills and work experience placements.

  • New Adult Project: Skills Escalator project specialises in support for adults in low paid employment. It provides advice and guidance to enable adults to access training provision to support them into better paid employment (this could be with a current or new employer).

  • An apprenticeship is a full-time job which combines training and study - you’ll learn as you earn. You can study for many qualifications across Levels 2, 3 or 4. Apprenticeship training takes place for a minimum of a year, but can last for up to four years depending on the qualification you take. You usually spend around 20% of your time studying, which is only one day a week, with the rest of the time spent working to get experience to help start your future career.

  • The BEET Service is in communication with organisations including Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Ultra Education to widen current employment and training opportunities.

  • Volunteer to get work experience (external link) - Get an insight into the world of work.

To find out more speak to your PA or the Virtual School.

Finding a job

To help you develop your skills and access employment, training or volunteering opportunities, your Virtual School worker or personal adviser will support you in making an informed decision about your future career path.

To find a job you can visit:

Get involved in your community and shape how things work in Barnet

We would like all of our care leavers to contribute to the local community and society in general and we understand that leaving care and beginning to live independently can be lonely for some people. With our support, we encourage you to:

Help paying for education and work

Everyone should be given access to education. Your personal adviser will help you get bursaries and grants to continue with your education.

If you go into higher education, we’ll help you get student finance, Higher Education Bursary and access to accommodation, textbooks and tools you might need.

If you have a learning difficulty, health problems or a disability, you may be able to apply for the Disabled Students Allowance to help with the cost during your studies.

Find out more about the Disabled Students Allowance on WWW.GOV.UK

There is a range of financial support available for care leavers in education, employment or training, however, what a young person is entitled to depends on what they are doing.

Information about the financial support available from the Council and other organisations, such as Student Finance and the Job Centre, is explained in our financial policy for care leavers. Ask your PA to help you with accessing and understanding your entitlements and support available..

Whilst you are in education, employment or training, you will also receive the following support:

  • • the support with choosing the right course and/or training and making the application

  • assistance with some expenses for travel or accessing education, training and employment if needed;and

  • Income Support or Housing Benefit should be available if you have been in care, remain separated from your family and arein:

    • Full time further/non-advanced education (this is up to A-level standard or equivalent)

    • In direct training for 12 hours a week ormore.

Income Support or Housing Benefit should continue to be paid until the end of the academic year that you turn 21.

In exceptional circumstances, and based on an assessment of need, we may be able to contribute towards course textbooks, field trips, special equipment or materials, clothing for work experience or job interviews.

Support for parents with child care costs

If you want to access training or education you should find out what child care support is on offer from your employer, training provider, college or university.

All 3-year olds are entitled to free nursery hours from Early Years Services. In some areas, they also offer free provision for 2-year olds.

Information about Early Help services can be obtained from our Early help Hubs at this link.