Post 16 team supporting young people | Oxfordshire County Council

Post 16 team supporting young people

Supporting young people in developing learning and work-based skills.

The aim of the Virtual School Post 16 team is to improve outcomes for as many of our care leavers aged 16-25 as possible through direct work with young people and driving improvements in practice amongst professionals and providers. We currently have over 400 young people on our caseload and with new legislation taking effect in 2018, all those aged 21-25 (including those without EHCPs and not in education) will be offered a service from social care which will include careers information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) from the Virtual School post-16 team.

Our service offers a spectrum of support according to need that can be defined as follows:

  1. Strategic arms-length monitoring and reporting, working through other key professionals and adults, supporting, challenging and building capacity
  2. Specific one-off interventions to remove barriers and enable progress
  3. Intensive and extended 1-2-1 work to enable progress towards sustainable education, employment or training (EET) outcomes

Whilst 1 would be the optimum modus operandi, often this is not possible because other key adults or professionals do not have the relationships necessary, are already working at capacity and/or a young person requires more than a single intervention to progress.

We try to get to know as many of our young people as possible and as a safety net also rely upon (SWEET) referrals from professionals to flag an intervention requirement. A key objective of the care system is to support young people into independence.

Evidence from developmental psychology points to the importance of a stable base (or key trusted adult) for children to then be able to explore the world more confidently yet a child in care may experience several changes of social worker, leaving care personal assistant and foster carer and will only have an IRO until 18. We can support the same care leaver from age 16 to 25.

For definitions of care leaver status and key information on entitlements please see Definitions of Careleaver Status Factsheet (pdf format, 363Kb)

About the team

The team works directly with Oxfordshire Looked After Children and Care Leavers aged 16-25 as well as with colleges, schools, training providers, Social Care, Foster Carers, Supported Housing Providers, Edge of Care services (REOC) and employers to support young people’s aspirations, skills and achievements.

We offer accredited CEIAG Career Coaching for all our young people whilst advising, supporting and challenging education providers and support services to achieve the best possible young person centred and appropriate Education, Employment and Training (EET) outcomes for our young people.

We ensure that support and plans are in place for Oxfordshire Looked After Children & Care Leavers aged 16-25 through Personal Education Plans (for those in Education & Training) and through EET Support Plans (for those not in EET).

Further information about this support contact us.

September guarantee

All young people leaving Year 11 and 12 have an entitlement to a suitable offer of learning for the following September. They do not have to take up this offer, but they have to be offered a suitable place and this offer is recorded by the Youth, Engagement, and Opportunities Team.

Raising the Participation Age (RPA)

Raising the Participation Age legislation comes into full effect from this September. The Youth, Engagement, and Opportunities Team have put together a factsheet (pdf format, 544Kb) for staff working with young people and families so that they are clear about the new rules and have some answers to the questions they may get asked by young people about this requirement to stay in learning until they are 18.

Post 16 PEPs

The Personal Education Plan (PEP) is an evolving record of what needs to happen for Looked After children and young people to enable them to make at least expected progress in line with their peers and to fulfil their potential. The PEP should reflect the importance of a personalised approach to learning that meets the identified educational needs of the student, raises aspirations and builds life chances.

The PEP is the joint responsibility of the relevant local authority and the education provider. Social workers, carers, VSHs, designated teachers and other relevant professionals will need to work together. All those involved in the PEP process at all stages should involve the student (according to understanding and ability) and, wherever appropriate, relevant family members.

For students in years 12, 13 and 14 we continue with three PEPs a year (one per term) to ensure sufficient support is in place around our students. We operate a mixture of EPEPs on Welfare Call (for those continuing in school sixth forms and special schools) and paper PEPs (downloadable from this site) for other students. If you are unsure which to use please contact the virtual school using the details on this page.

Download the:

Some Sixth forms will now be required to complete Electronic PEPs.

Re-engagement in EET aged 21-25 years

Oxfordshire Care Leavers aged 21-25 to whom services have been closed but now wishing to re-engage with education or training can apply for support to help with their courses and training.

For more information about our service, what we offer and how we can help please contact us.

Information for care leavers

Useful links and resources

For advice and information on local events and opportunities

For HE activities, information and resources

Advice, information and support for Looked After Children & Care Leavers

Support and information for Care Leavers, by Care Leavers

Children in Care Council - Bringing together young people in care to improve how you are looked after -

Last reviewed
20 April 2018
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