Education, training and employment support for care leavers

Your personal advisor or social worker will support you to access the Harrow’s training and career services. In addition you can receive support from a specialist education and employment advisor.

As your corporate parent we have high hopes for you and we will help you get the funding you need in order to do well.

At Harrow, we believe that every single young adult can and should be able to work or study. Therefore, your worker will stick by you when you are deciding what you wish to do. And they will be there to give you a helping push when you feel stuck! It does not matter if you have a gap in your education so long as you start it again as soon as is reasonably possible.

We can provide you with financial support to buy tools, equipment, essential clothing, and books, when necessary.

We can also support you with transport costs when you are travelling to training, school, college, apprenticeships or job interviews.

The Leaving Care services will help you to make applications that may financially support your education and training placements.

Support for care levers

  • Care leavers can receive a £1000 bursary for starting an apprenticeship.
  • Care leavers are a priority group for the 16-19 Bursary Fund (£1200 a year) if they study in further education.
  • Care leavers attending college are eligible for support with travel and lunch costs
  • Care leavers who go to university receive a £1000 bursary from Harrow per year for the first degree.
  • Care leavers who complete their degree will receive £250 and support with graduation costs.

In addition, we will provide somewhere for you to stay during university holidays. Alternatively we can provide funding for this if you would prefer to make your own arrangements. This offer is conditional to you being in full time higher education or full time residential further education and your term time accommodation is not available. Please make sure you discuss this with your worker at least one month before it is needed so we can plan this together.

You may also be entitled to a Higher Education Bursary to meet the costs of your ‘out of term’ accommodation.

If you are at university, you are entitled to apply for student loans and grants. Usually you will not be able to claim benefits on top of this if you are at university.

Student loans and maintenance loans are administered by Student Finance. Both will need to be repaid when your earnings reach a certain amount, once you have completed your studies. For further information, see the Student finance website.

Two organisations which are useful to know about are:

  • Buttle UK: a charity that awards universities a ‘quality mark’ for offering additional support to Young adults leaving care
  • Propel UK: run by the Become charity

We want to make sure every young person leaving care has the support to achieve their goals in life.

We can support you to with travel costs to interviews, and with purchasing interview clothes to help you put your best foot forward.

Harrow Prospects

We have a specialist Careers Advisor who works with Young people aged 16-19, who are unemployed (up to 25 if special educational needs). Contact them via  
Harrow Youth stop on 
Tel: 020 8427 8617 

The Xcite programme

Xcite is a free training and employment programme for people in Harrow aged 18+. Xcite provide a full range of support to help Harrow residents back into work.

Xcite will help you find work with emphasis on identifying and overcoming any barriers that are currently in your way.

Talk to Xcite about:

  • apprenticeships
  • improving your skills
  • job search
  • writing CVs and applications
  • performing at interviews
  • getting into construction
  • business mentoring
  • vocational skills

There are many opportunities available which would look great on your CV too including:

  1. Attending the Harrow Corporate Parenting Panel. You will be able to share your experiences of being looked after or leaving care with elected members and senior leaders of Children’s services. This activity has a voucher reward as it is delivered in a professional setting, and it's a great opportunity to have your voice heard at a political level.
  2. Recruiting and interviewing new children’s services professionals. You can be an interview panel member and help us to select the best staff to work in Harrow children’s services.
  3. Meeting the elected members known as Councillors, to share your experience and help them to consider whether the services for children, young people and young adults are reaching the right people in the right way.
  4. You could be involved in one of our focus groups. At different times throughout the year we may need to have a specific group to help us look at certain areas we would like to change or need advice on.

Ask your PA or social worker for the details or our participation officer for more information about how to get involved.

Apprenticeships for Care Leavers

Don’t forget, that as a care leaver, you have access to apply for a variety of paid apprenticeship opportunities.

Your worker can help you with this, and remember these are also published on the Care leaver covenant website.

Job Centre Plus

You can also find hints and tips about looking for work on the Job help website.