We are supporting the Institute of Education to deliver a knowledge exchange programme to improve the education, employment and training opportunities for care-leavers aged 16-25.
We are acutely aware of some of the challenges facing children leaving care, but there is a lack of evidence about what works best to support young care leavers through this transition and beyond.
The 16-25 EET Care Leavers programme brings together and supports the practice of a range of different professionals and settings working with care leavers within a particular local authority. These include Leaving Care teams, Local Authorities, FE/HE providers, third sector organisations, social workers and Virtual Schools. Our grant is supporting the programme across six London boroughs in total, working in two boroughs per year.
At its core is the collaborative relationship that exists between practitioners and university researchers to seek to improve our collective understanding of how care leavers might succeed in Education, Employment or Training. The programme promotes evidence-informed practice in various settings and the structure of the programme itself is based on what is currently understood how best to support professional learning and development.
The two main outcomes of the project are to:
- Develop the professional understanding and practice of a range of practitioners in ensuring better outcomes for care leavers and
- Reduce the number of care leavers who are not in education, employment or training in each of the Local Authorities over time.
Where it works
As a Knowledge Exchange programme, it places considerable emphasis on the generation of evidence from practice. By working on a local authority level, this programme will result in the publication of a case study for each of the six London boroughs. The boroughs are: Camden, Islington, Lewisham, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets and Kensington & Chelsea.
The six local authorities identified are all inner London boroughs covering a wide geographical spread. Each borough has significant numbers of Looked After Children and high levels of local need but with distinct demographics, to ensure the greatest breadth within the evidence produced. This evidence will help to inform our own approach to funding within London, as well as offering a model for improvement that can be adopted by Virtual Schools and Local Authorities across England.
The knowledge exchange programme is lead by Dr Amelia Roberts, Associate Professor of the Institute of Education’s Centre for Inclusive Education.
Prisoners' Education Trust
The Prisoners’ Education Trust offers distance learning courses to people in prisons across England and Wales. Through PET we have supported hundreds of young men and women from London to gain educational qualifications, helping to break the cycle of reoffending.