Westminster Education Forum

Improving provision for care leavers: multi-agency working, implementing the local offer and progression into training, further education and employment

Morning, Tuesday, 8th January 2019

Central London


This timely seminar will examine the priorities for improving provision for care leavers in England.

Planned sessions will focus on the development of a multi-agency approach in supporting care leavers, as each local authority in England implements its local offer for care leavers and introduces personal advisers for care leavers up to 25.

Delegates will assess progress and look ahead to implementation with local authorities required to publish their local offers by December 2018 - and amid concerns surrounding the funding burden as they take on increased responsibility for care leavers until the age of 25.  

Those attending will also discuss the integration of care leavers into further education, employment and training following the announcement of three Social Impact Bond projects by Government and the confirmation of a delivery partner for the Care Leaver Covenant, which aims to increase opportunities for care leavers to access practical support such as apprenticeships and work experience.

They will consider the prospects for the Covenant in successfully widening opportunities for care leavers, and how more Government departments, employers and colleges can be encouraged to sign up following an initially slow response.  

Overall, the agenda looks at:

  • Strategies in developing a co-ordinated and collaborative approach between local authorities, education providers, health and housing services, and the voluntary sector;
  • Best practice in utilising the innovation fund to provide better opportunities for those leaving care and in implementing local offers;
  • Opportunities for improving access to education, employment and training for care leavers - including the potential use of Social Impact Bond and apprenticeship bursaries; and
  • The potential introduction of a Care Leaver Covenant - setting out care leavers’ entitlements to housing, jobs and healthcare - and challenges for ensuring its efficiency.

Guest of Honour

Matthew Brazier

Specialist Adviser for Looked After Children, Ofsted

Guest of Honour

Matthew Brazier

Specialist Adviser for Looked After Children, Ofsted

Keynote Speakers

Mark Riddell

National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers, Department for Education

Rt Hon Ruth Kelly

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research & Enterprise, St Mary’s University, Twickenham and former Secretary of State for Education and Skills (2004 - 2006)


Earl of Listowel

Treasurer, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children

Steve McCabe MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers


Alison Williams

Executive Director, Young People and Families, Prospects

Alison Wilkinson

Youth Services Manager, Bournville Village Trust

Mark Walker

Education, Employment & Training Coordinator, The Virtual School for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, 0-25, Oxfordshire County Council

Councillor Garry Bridges

Executive Member for Children’s Services, Manchester City Council (subject to council business)

Matthew Gordon

Chief Executive, Spectra First

Pamela Dow

Chief Reform Officer, Catch22

Gail Tolley

Strategic Director, Children and Young People, Brent Council

Kate McGoey

Senior Programme Manager, Barclays LifeSkills

Beaulah Chizimba

Designated Nurse Lead, Children in Care, West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and Ipswich & East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group

Councillor Jackie Drayton

Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, Sheffield City Council

Wendy Dawson

Chief Executive Officer, Rees Foundation