Swindon Virtual School

We are a service required by law to support and challenge all those involved in the education of children in care to improve the outcomes you achieve. Swindon Virtual School does not replace school or educational placement for children in care.

We work with children and young people aged 3-18 and use the Personal Educational Plan (PEP) to help you get the support you need while in education.

We support all young people who have previously been/ are still in care with information, guidance and advice on education, employment and training opportunities through our main website Swindon Virtual School. You can also call us on 01793 464335 if you have any questions.

What should I do after year 11?

Deciding which college, Sixth form or training pathway you want follow after completing Year 11 is a big decision. It is important to consider a few options before making your final choice. Your key professionals (designated teacher and Social Worker) will provide advice and guidance around planning where to go as part of your Year 11 ‘PEP meetings’ and your Pathway Plan. In these you will set out goals for your future.

For some young people, the change from Year 11 to further education can be challenging; especially if you are also moving home at the same time. Your Social Worker and the Virtual School will work closely with you to make sure any changes affecting your education happen as smoothly as possible.

Do I have to be in work, education on training after year 11?

The government expects that all young people are in full time education, training or employment until 18.

It will be important to ensure you are ‘job ready’ by having an up to date CV, National Insurance number and bank account. If you need help with any of this, your Social Worker, Pathway Advisor  and your school can help with this.

What are my options?

Apprenticeships can be a great way to enter the workforce, providing on the job training at many levels and allowing you to earn as you train. Find out more here: Apprenticeships for Care Leavers

Lots of young people enter the workforce starting with casual work that can fit around their studies and this is a great way to earn extra money while you are studying.

The Virtual School can provide additional advice and guidance about careers planning; further education options, CVs and job interviews as part of your transition to ‘Leaving Care’.

How can the Virtual School help me study?

The Virtual School will work with you and professionals to discuss your support needs. We will talk about how we work together to support you through your further education journey once you have left school. You will still have termly PEP meetings, three times a year, to make sure you are supported and that we have planned for any changes should they happen.

The Virtual School will also track your attendance and progress so that if there are any difficulties, we can offer you support. Support may include guidance about your options or advocating for you at College/Sixth Form. We can also point you in the right directions for careers guidance and advice about job hunting, or step-by-step planning for University if that is your goal.

What if I need money to study?

All young people aged 16-18 who are ‘Looked After’ and study full time are entitled to a bursary, which will be paid to you by your College, Sixth Form or training centre. More information about the bursary is available from the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund page.

If you to continue to study at College from age 19, then there is advice available about Student Finance options to meet the costs of some courses which are no longer free after 19. All Colleges and Sixth Forms have a Designated Person who supports young people in care and Care Leavers. They will be able to give you advice you about support available.

How to get in touch

Should you need to contact the virtual school our details are:
Tel: 01793 464335
Website: Swindon Virtual School