Care leavers (Virtual School)

User voice participation

Surrey wants you to know that as you become a care leaver and begin to live independently, we still care about you and what is happening in your life. We know that leaving care can be difficult at times and we want to let you know what you can expect from us in the care leavers' service and where to find other useful help. We want you to feel listened to and know that we will continue to listen to you – please access our User Voice Participation page to find further information for care leavers.

Support package for care leavers

This package of support was put together for deferred students but the opportunities are not just for those who have plans for universities!

The NHS is actively recruiting Healthcare support workers, and the Department for Health and Social Care will be encouraging students who need to defer their studies to consider applying for these roles. This opportunity will also be opened up to non-medical students, so a wide range of students could benefit.

These roles are paid and will provide valuable transferable skills for students. They include healthcare assistants, and clinical support staff who would work with nurses and midwives to look after the well-being and comfort of patients.

Paid tutoring roles

Deferring students, like undergraduates, graduates and other individuals with prior experience of working in school, may be eligible to apply for paid tutoring roles with some National Tutoring Programme Partners. The National Tutoring Programme aims to increase the availability of high-quality tutoring for disadvantaged children across England. As a flagship government programme, competition for roles is likely to be considerable, however talented school leavers, particularly with prior experience of tutoring would be welcome to apply. National Tutoring Programme partners will be recruiting tutors from November.

The National Career Service

The National Careers Service has also just introduced a range of new initiatives, designed to offer accessible careers guidance and activities for students and anyone else whose career path has been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). To keep up with growing demand, the government has invested an extra £32 million into the platform which will help us provide careers advice for up to 270,000 more people.

The Ministry of Defence is making available up to 1,000 additional places as University Officer Cadets as part of a University Royal Navy Unit (URNU), a University Officers' Training Corps or a University Air Squadron for those who have had to defer their university place. University Officer Cadets participate in a wide range of military and leadership training and are paid for the activity they undertake.

Network Rail work experience

Network Rail will be offering work experience placements in engineering or operations management. The placements will offer a unique opportunity for deferring students to experience what it is like to work in the transport industry. These opportunities will be based on Network Rail's 10-week paid summer placement programme which is aimed at pre-university students and undergraduates. For further information email

Transport for London's construction skills programme

The Department for Transport is continuing to engage with industry representatives to identify other suitable work placements for university students who are deferring their places. Transport for London is working with major infrastructure and construction partners to offer placements on a rotational basis, and their development engineering team will support a co-ordinated placement scheme. For further information on the Transport for London's construction skills programme email

The Skills Toolkit

The Department for Education (DfE) is promoting The Skills Toolkit, which will enable deferring students to access free courses to build practical skills which will help them develop a well-rounded CV and prepare for university and their future careers. These courses have been chosen with help from external experts to ensure that they help students develop the skills employers value including Learning to Code for Data Analysis and Thriving in a Digital Workplace. We will continue to expand the offer of courses available.