Your education, training and employment

For full information on Hounslow’s financial support package for care leavers including costs related to your education, you can ask your worker to send you the ‘Care Leavers Finance Policy’ .

Virtual College

We have a team responsible for supporting you with everything to do with your education, employment and training. They are part of our ‘Virtual College’ and will help to keep you in education and make sure you have all the extra support you need. If you need information contact the Virtual College. Natasha Woolman (Post 16 Phase Leader) 020 85832787 or Kate Elliott (Principal of Virtual College) 020 8583 2745. Or ask your worker to put you in touch.

Seeking Education Employment or Training

If you are Not currently in Education Employment or Training (NEET) then you can get Careers and Education Information, Advice and Guidance relating to this. The NEET team can support you with exploring your options, building a plan, applying, and also preparing for the right opportunities including short courses, college courses, Traineeships, Apprenticeship or Work.

Ask your worker to refer you or just come along to the NEET DROP IN at the new Spot on Thursdays 2-4 pm. Speak to a range of professionals such as a Personal Advisor, Careers Advisor,  Senior Engagement Mentor, Employment Consultant, or DWP Job Centre Work Coach for whatever your needs may be.

To speak to someone in the NEET team you can contact:

Lee Bulmer- Senior Engagement Mentor-  07816 070760

Viktoria Mogyla- (Future Pathways Project) Engagement Mentor- 07929710038

Aman Kaur-Connexions Careers Advisor 07837 585 735.


We may be able to support you with 1:1 tuition if you need to retake Maths or English GCSE. This depends on your attendance to those lessons being high. Please contact either your worker or the Virtual College to apply for tuition or ask at your Personal Education Plan meeting if you are aged 16-18.

Exam rewards

You will receive some money from us for your educational achievements. Make sure you give your worker a copy of the certificate to receive your reward. We reward ESOL and GCSE through to Degree Level. Exam rewards are paid dependent upon level and grade.

Finding work and Interview Allowance

Support includes:

  • A one-time offer of £50 for interview or work clothing
  • Interview practice
  • Help with creating your CV and personal statement and applying for jobs
  • Travel money for confirmed interviews

Further Education Bursaries

Care leavers attending college should get the college’s 16-19 Vulnerable Bursary of £1,200 which you are entitled to and from which you can pay for essential study expenses like travel, course materials and food. When you apply for this bursary you will need to show evidence of your course including term dates and that you are attending regularly. Apply through your college’s Student Services Department. You will need to request a letter from your worker confirming you are a care leaver.

If you are over 19 you can apply to the colleges’ Discretionary Support Fund requesting money to help with travel and lunch but this is not guaranteed.

If you are over 19 and on a Level 3 qualification you may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan through Student Finance.

Course materials or equipment not covered by a bursary

If there is anything you need that the bursary does not cover the cost of your worker will support you to look at other financial support (like charities). In exceptional circumstances, the Leaving Care Team may pay towards the cost of essential equipment.

Attendance rewards

If you maintain a 95% attendance rate at college you will receive a reward during holiday periods (excluding summer holidays)

  • October and February half term – £10
  • Christmas and Easter Holiday – £10 x 2

Click here for more information on financial support for further education

Higher Education

Hounslow are committed to supporting care leavers to achieve their full potential. We offer a lot of help to care leavers who want to go to university for up to four years including:

  • A Higher Education Bursary of £3010.80 (paid in weekly installments of £57.90 per week). This exceeds the government recommendation of £2000
  • Holiday rent
  • Up to £200 per year for books/stationery
  • Up to £100 per academic year for computer-related equipment
  • Support to visit universities before you accept a place
  • Help with the initial costs of moving to and from university

Please contact the Virtual College if you are thinking about applying for university.

Financial Support for Higher Education

While at university you are expected to apply for all available financial support and bursaries that you are entitled to. These include:

  • Maintenance Loan (repayable)
    • Living away from home outside London – up to £8,944
    • Living away from home in London – up to £11,672
  • Tuition Fee Loan – to cover the cost of course fees which is paid directly to your university
  • Bursary – a one-off payment from your university. Many universities offer additional bursaries to care leavers

More information about higher education, funding and opportunities can be found at:


Complete University Guide

Young people attending university are expected to cover ALL tuition costs, term time accommodation costs, bills, TV license, insurance, and internet from the loans and bursaries to which they are entitled including the Hounslow bursary outlined above.

The London Borough of Hounslow as a matter of course does not provide assistance in the form of fees for higher education tuition or university courses to those who are not eligible to receive Student Finance UK funding. If you are not eligible, Hounslow will do an assessment to see what financial assistance you need and how best to support you.

Disabled Student Allowance

Disabled students can claim additional allowances to pay for things like equipment or a helper. The money does not need to be paid back.

Young People with Discretionary Leave to Remain

Young people who have applied for asylum and have Discretionary Leave to Remain are not able to apply for ‘home’ fees and Student Support for a Higher Education in England. This is because eligibility is restricted to those with Humanitarian Protection and their family members. However, Hounslow will do an assessment to see what financial assistance you need and how best to support you.

The Educational Grant Advisory Service (EGAS) is an independent advice agency for people wanting to obtain funding for Higher Education who are not eligible for statutory funding. They can be contacted on 020 7251 7459 or go to


If you get an apprenticeship or traineeship we will provide you with travel money and assist you until you receive your first wage. You may still be able to claim Housing Benefit and help with rent payments. Speak to your worker about financial help when doing an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Care leavers will be boosted by a new £1,000 bursary payment if they choose to do an apprenticeship from the government. This needs to be claimed through the education provider of the apprenticeship at the start of your apprenticeship. The extra financial support will be for those aged 16-24 and help them in the first year of their apprenticeship as learners move into the workplace for their practical studies.

Further information can be found at

Extra Education Payments

  • We will pay the registration and/or exam fees for your agreed course
  • We will support you with essential equipment and books as agreed on an individual basis
  • We will reward you with £10 per holiday week (not including summer holidays) for attendance over 90%

Travel costs

If you are in full time education or training in London you are entitled to a 18+ Student Oyster photocard which gives you 30% off the cost of your fare. You can here

If you live outside of London ask your worker about financial support available to you for travel.

You can also check what discounts your local council gives to students here

We will pay for:

  • £10 towards the cost of applying for an Oyster card or equivalent if you do not live in London.
  • The cost of an adult travel fare for up to 6 weeks or until you receive your Oyster Photocard

Studying Away from Home

If you want to do a specialist course away from where you live ask your worker about:

  1. Residential Bursaries from the college
  2. The Residential Support Scheme