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Information for young people in care and care leavers

Information for young people in care and care leavers

What is The HOPE, how The HOPE can help you, how to get help at school, and the Bristol Pledge.

What The HOPE is

The HOPE Virtual School is part of Bristol City Council. We help Bristol’s children in care and care leavers do the best you can in your education.

The name ‘HOPE’ was suggested by a Bristol child in care as part of a competition to find a name for the Virtual School. HOPE stands for Helping Our Pupils Excel.

You can see our logo at the top of the page. That was also designed by some of our young people.

What The HOPE team does

The HOPE team’s job is to check how you’re doing in your education. That’s because your education is really important for your future. A good education will help you get a job, go to college or go to university.

You'll have an education advocate from The HOPE. They'll talk to your teachers, your carer and your social worker to find out:

  • how you’re doing at school or college
  • if you’re getting the support you need
  • if you attend every day
  • how your Pupil Premium or Bursary is being spent

Your education advocate will find out whether you'd like any more support, such as extra teaching. If you do then we can sometimes help to organise this for you.

You can contact us yourself if you'd like extra support with your education or if things aren't going well at school or college.

When you might meet someone from The HOPE

You might meet your education advocate at your Personal Education Plan (PEP) meeting.

You could meet other members of our team if you come on a trip that we organise to visit a university, or if you take part in one of the projects or competitions that we sometimes run.

We might also write to you to tell you about things The HOPE is doing or to say ‘well done’ if we hear you’ve achieved something really good.

We also have a leaflet (pdf, 325KB) (opens new window) to tell you more about The HOPE.

Help at school or college: designated teacher for children in care

All local authority schools and academies have to have one person who has a responsibility for making sure that you’re doing well in school. That person is called the designated teacher for children in care.

We know there are lots of people in school helping you, but it’s the designated teacher’s job to make sure everything’s in place to help you reach your full potential.

You, your carer and your social worker need to know the name of the designated teacher. You can go to them with any problems and also to tell them how you’re doing.

Help with homework

If you’re stuck with a piece of homework, the best person to ask is the teacher who set it for you. Your carer should also be able to tell you who to ask for help.

You could also try the internet or the library. If you live outside of Bristol, the council where you live will have a list of libraries. Your carer or school can help you find more information about the local library.

If you're worried about exams

ChildLine have a booklet about how to deal with exam stress. It has tips on revision and looking after yourself.

Work experience

We can help you find a work experience placement with Bristol City Council if you need help. You or your carer can contact your HOPE lead.

The Bristol Pledge and our local offer for care leavers

Bristol City Council has a Pledge for children in care and care leavers. The Pledge is a promise made by Bristol City Council and the Children and Young People's Partnership to all Bristol children in care and care leavers.

Our local offer for care leavers (pdf, 252KB) (opens new window)  includes information about the services and support available for care leavers in Bristol.