General information, advice and guidance

If you are having problems at school then you have come to the right place.

The HOPE Virtual School for children in care has been specially set up to help you achieve your potential in education.

We have teachers and education advocates who link directly with schools in Bristol and outside of the city.

If you would rather send a message than speak to someone on the phone, contact The HOPE via 'Get in touch' (see above) and we'll get back to you ASAP!


What is a Designated Teacher?

All maintained (local authority) schools and academies have to have one person who has a special responsibility for making sure that you are doing well in school - this person is called the Designated Teacher for Children in Care.

We know that there are lots of people in school helping you but it is this person's job to make sure that everything is in place to help you reach your full potential.

Your social worker will know who that person is. You can go to them with any problems and also to tell them how well you are doing. If you go to a Bristol school, use this link to find out who the Designated Teacher is in your school.

If you're not at a Bristol school, email Charlotte Moody ( to find out who the Designated Teacher is in your school.


Help!! Homework!!

If it feels like you are 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 point you in the direction of some help.

You could try the library or the internet.


Worried about exams?

ChildLine have produced a booklet about how to beat exam stress. It has tips on revision and looking after yourself. Take a look at the booklet.


Careers Information, Advice and Guidance

Good Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG) is key for helping young people move on into successful and happy working lives.

 All schools must provide independent and impartial careers information – that means they should help their students explore all of the possible options available to them in terms of careers and in terms of Post 16 options, in the best interests of the student.

All schools will have a careers lead and colleges will have a careers team. All of these people are there to help you make good choices for the future.

You can find more information about the CIAG programme in any secondary school by searching their website.

Raising the Participation Age (Post 16)

Raising the Participation Age (RPA) means that every young person is now required to stay in some form of learning until they are 18 years old. When you leave Year 11, the options are to:

  • remain in full time education e.g. school, college, home education
  • go on to work based learning e.g. apprenticeship
  • full-time work alongside part-time learning leading to an accredited qualification
  • take up volunteering for 20+ hours and do this alongside part-time learning which leads to an accredited qualification
  • be self-employed, combining this with part-time learning leading to an accredited qualification

You are responsible for ensuring you remain in some form of learning until 18. You will be expected to make your own decisions about how you wish to do this and which route you want to take. 

Useful information to find out about different careers:

  • what do they involve?

  • what are the routes into them?

  • what qualifications are needed?

  • what salaries do people earn?

  • how many jobs are there in this career, what are the chances of getting a job in this career?

Useful websites to help find out about careers

Career Pilot – A very comprehensive website with a lot of information about different careers including information about whether there are many jobs in different sectors and some videos about different careers. Made in the South West so has detailed information relating to our area. School or college may have provided log ins for this, or you can create your own account.

BBC Bitesize Careers – Lots of videos for very many different careers and advice for writing CVs and applications.

I Could – for younger students, a lot of detailed information with videos about different careers with clear information about the numbers of jobs in the sector you’re interested in, in your area.

Prospects – for older students, and university students. Lets you set up a log in, and has lots of information about applying for jobs and university as well as different job sectors, and then jobs within these sectors. In some cases you can click through to advertised.

Start – another comprehensive site. You can set up a log in and build your profile. There is a lot of information about job sectors, and also a section from big employers in the country with descriptions of the kinds of work and apprenticeships they offer. Every job type that you can look up comes with a grade as to whether there are many jobs in this sector. 

Don’t know where to start? Do a quiz!

I Could Buzz Quiz – quick, easy and fun. It allocates you an animal, tells you your qualities and suggests some good career areas to look at.

Prospects – two quizzes, a quick Jobs Match one, and a longer career planner. If you logged in, it saves your results so you can come back to them

Start – four ‘quizzes’ or surveys of your interests, skills, qualities and work preferences. These are saved in your profile and suitable matches are suggested. 

Other places for information

  • School library, or local library. Your local library will carry print prospectuses for local colleges and providers of Post 16 education

  • Bristol City Council’s Post 16 Directory – available here – all Post 16 providers

  • Drop in sessions at The Station run by Creative Youth Network Weds 2-4pm – help to find a job, a new course or a training opportunity

  • The Bristol Post 16 Participation site including latest opportunities

  • Talk to your Key Stage advocate at The HOPE  about careers advice