Education for young people with SEND

A boy in a wheelchair reaching for a book

At 16, you can stay in education or start a career. There isn't a right or wrong answer.

Your education setting choices

After your GCSEs, you can go into sixth form or college. It depends on the entry criteria whether you may be able to:

  • go to your school's sixth form
  • move to another school's sixth form
  • go to your local college.

Find out more about sixth form and college and how to apply.

You can go to a specialist college or training provider if you are over 16 or 19 and have an EHC plan or complex needs.

Specialist education settings allow you to:

  • stay at your current education setting
  • move to a further education setting
  • complete a study programme
  • take a work based approach.

Learn more about specialist colleges and training providers.

If you don't want to study at an school or college, you can study at home. Home education means that you can:

  • learn at your own pace
  • learn in an place that you're comfortable in
  • take as many breaks as you need
  • explore the world around you.

Read more about home education.

Adult education courses help you learn essential skills. You'll need them to take part in life, learning, and work. You can:

  • build up your skills
  • gain recognised qualifications with City and Guilds
  • improve your job prospects
  • progress in your career.

Classroom-based courses

You may be interested in classroom-based courses that teach basics in:

  • English
  • maths
  • Independent Living Skills.

If you have mild to moderate learning disabilities, difficulties, or mental health challenges. These courses can help you.

Interested in joining? You can join our Everyday English and maths courses at any time of the year.

Digital skills and functional skills courses

We also offer in-person and online entry level to Level 2 courses in:

  • digital skills
  • functional skills English
  • maths.

You may receive a Functional Skills qualification at the end of your course.

Interested in joining? Courses usually start in September, but you can join at any time of the year.

Life and work skills courses

Are you looking to improve your job options? Or want to move forward in your career? The life and work skills courses teach important skills for work and life.

Courses are in-person or online. You will not get a qualification at the end.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses

If English is not your first language, our ESOL courses will help you:

  • with your spoken and written English
  • prepare to find a job
  • gain a Trinity ESOL qualification.

ESOL courses range from basic English through to Level 2. Courses are in-person or online and are open to:

  • European Union citizens
  • refugees
  • asylum seekers
  • citizens and their family members who have lived in the UK for at least 3 years and have permission to live in the UK.

The courses are free if you get certain benefits or are on a low wage. Non-eligible students can study but an overseas fee is required. Contact your local centre to ask about eligibility.

Find out what courses you can do at your local adult education centre.

Alternative social care settings support you through activities and training.

They help you to develop your life skills, including:

  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • crafts
  • gardening
  • sports.

To access these settings, a social care assessment will take place.

Find your nearest alternative social care setting.

From the age of 18 you can attend a higher education setting, for example a university.

Higher education often refers to studying at university.

If you go to university, your educational health care (EHC) plan stops. However, there are a variety of funding options and support available to you.

Learn more about how to apply for university.

Support in education

You'll need support as you move from secondary school to further education and prepare for adulthood. This could be from your:

  • careers advisor
  • form tutor
  • head of year.

Find out what support is available to you in your education.

Read about moving to a post 16 education setting.


You can get travel assistance if you're a post-16 student, but it's not automatic. Some options include:

  • Kent 16+ Travel Saver
  • travel training
  • personal transport budgets
  • assisted travel.

See what transport is available for you.

Reasonable adjustments

If you have a disability, you can't be treated unfairly in an education setting, it's against the law. For advice about your rights visit one of the websites below: rights visit:

Preparation for adulthood core standards

To help you and your family make the transition from childhood to adulthood, the preparation for adulthood core standards set out the support available.

Advice and help

If you need additional help about your education options we recommend you talk to: