Tim Loughton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Education; East Worthing and Shoreham, Conservative)
I have asked to reply.
Local authorities have clearly defined duties and responsibilities for their care leavers. The Care Leavers (England) Regulations 2010 and guidance “Planning Transition for Adulthood for Care Leavers” requires local authorities to provide young people who turn 18 with appropriate leaving care support. This includes a regularly reviewed pathway plan and the allocation of a personal adviser who will provide advice and support on a range of matters including accommodation up until the young person reaches the age of 21, or beyond if the young person is still in education.
The revised regulations and guidance on support for care leavers are intended to bolster the quality of support, and bring consistency so that all young people receive the same opportunities to succeed as their peers.
Key entitlements for care leavers include:
the £2000 Higher Education Bursary for all eligible care leavers;
a new 16-19 Bursary scheme which will begin from the start of the 2011/12 academic year. Looked after young people and care leavers are guaranteed a £1,200 bursary if they continue in full-time education;
the provision of a personal adviser. Since April 2011 care leavers up to age 25 who return to education or training have been able to also benefit from the support of a personal adviser while they are on their agreed course; and
provision of vacation accommodation if the young person is in higher education.