Every year we train up to 45 young people from London and help them to prepare for the world of work with vocational training courses, holistic support and enrichment opportunities. Each student who attends Roots and Shoots experiences a unique programme tailored to their individual learning needs, personal and professional goals.
Our full time courses are aimed at young people between the ages of 16 and 24 years of age with an Education, Health and Care Plan and who are a resident of any one of London’s 32 boroughs. The vocational education Roots and Shoots provides is directly funded by the Department of Education and Local Authorities, and so Local Authorities are directly involved in the admissions process.
Read below to find out more about our admissions arrangements including how to apply, as well as eligibility, suitability, and assessment.
Fill out the "Make an Enquiry" form below the FAQ to express your interest in a placement at Roots and Shoots.
We run two full time courses from our main site in Kennington:
Our courses are flexible to best serve our students individual needs. Most take part in a full time course of at least 16 hours per week which helps them become work-ready, but we can accommodate gradual starts.
On average students spend between two and three years at Roots and Shoots. We follow school term dates set by Lambeth Council, with courses starting in September and ending in July.
We consider applications year-round, with most new students starting with us in September. Several spaces are kept open for young people who require a mid-year start.
Prospective students who are eligible to study at Roots and Shoots must be:
16-24 years old
In receipt of an active Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
A resident of a London borough
Willing to travel to Roots and Shoots
Willing to attend a full time (a minimum of 16 hours a week) supported vocational training course
Students looking to apply to Pre-Supported Internship must be motivated towards part or full time work or volunteering
Provision on these courses is funded by the ESFA and Local Authority where the young person lives. Subject to Local Authority agreeing to provide funding, the student will follow a structure of learning which is in accordance with their individual EHCP.
If your eligibility criteria aren’t quite right for Roots and Shoots, we are happy to signpost you to a partner organisation or external agency who may be better placed to help.
Our full time courses are aimed primarily at young people with mild to moderate learning difficulties and/or those who have been unable to fully achieve their potential in a mainstream setting. We are an autism friendly setting, however we cater for students with a range of needs and are therefore not autism specialists or autism-specific.
Unfortunately, we are not suitable for all young people and all needs. To prepare students for the world of work, we expect our students to manage their own timekeeping, and they are free to come and go from the site according to their timetable. We cannot effectively support needs which include:
Young people who require dedicated one-to-one support on a full time basis
Young people who require personal care support
Young people who have demonstrated a significant history of challenging behaviours.
The application process begins with a prospective student, their family, a professional supporting them or a Local Authority making an enquiry. From this enquiry, we make an assessment of the prospective student and their suitability for Root and Shoots.
Initial enquiries and referrals come from a wide range of people, including:
Young people can enquire independently, or with the support of their family.
Professional referral from a member of staff supporting a young person
School or college referral from a school or college supporting transition
Formal consultation via Special Educational Needs Departments and Local Authorities.
Enquiries can be made using the form further down this page, by calling our office on 020 7587 1131, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have an inclusive approach to new enquiries, and we actively encourage prospective students and possible referrers to contact our team to discuss the young people they are working with. Everyone is unique and has different levels of needs and assistance, and we find that it is often more helpful to meet in person than rely on background information only.
Places are offered to all prospective students who are assessed as both eligible and suitable.
Once an enquiry has been made, we invite the prospective student and their families to Roots and Shoots for a tour, and carry out an assessment, with the following steps:
Phone call consultation
Onsite visits to Roots and Shoots, including a tour and discussion about the potential student’s suitability, our courses and support
Half day taster session
Our Student Coordination Team assesses eligibility and suitability with relevant professionals and Local Authority
We cannot always offer the right support, and if that is the case we will signpost the prospective student and their families to professionals elsewhere.
Roots and Shoots receives a Discretionary Bursary Fund to support students who need it, which helps them overcome some of the financial barriers to learning.
If families have an household income of less that £26,100, the student may be eligible for support with travel costs and/or have lunch provided when they are attending a full day of training.
To receive Bursary Funding, families will be asked to provide proof of any benefits they receive, such as PIP, JSA or ESA, and proof of their household’s income - for example P60, SATR, Income Support or Universal Credit Letters or wage slips for the household.
Bursary Funding is established once the prospective student has been awarded a place at Roots and Shoots.
Make an Enquiry
If you think that Roots and Shoots might be the right place for you or your young person, please contact us using the form below to make an enquiry.