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Further Education (FE) colleges

A further education college is where you can study:

  • a vocational qualification
  • an academic qualification

Academic qualifications

An academic qualification prepares you for higher education.

It can include courses such as A Levels, BTECs and HND.

Waltham Forest College offers a range of courses.

Vocational qualifications

A vocational qualification prepares you for work and helps you to gain work experience. 

It can include courses such hair and beauty, vehicle maintenance, construction, catering, and many others.

Courses may be full-time, part-time or time-limited.


The following colleges offer a range of courses. They all support care leavers:

Barking & Dagenham College
Hackney Community College
Havering College
Newham College
Redbridge College
College of Haringey Enfield and North East London
Tower Hamlets College
Waltham Forest College

We have a special relationship with these colleges. It means we can go into the college to make sure you’re happy on your course and that it’s meeting your needs as a care leaver.

Making an application

Most colleges recruit learners in September. Some also recruit in January. You’ll need to apply early, as the most popular courses fill up quickly.

Some schools in the borough offer ‘route ways’ to college.

Your leaving care coach will discuss your applications with you and include these on your pathway plan. This will help you to identify the most appropriate courses. 

This process should take place six months before the course starts (usually the April before). This will allow you to visit the college and make sure you have chosen the correct course.

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