Launch Recite Me assistive technology

Accessibility Tool

Your options Post 16

All young people must remain in education, employment or training until the age of 18. Learning can be academic, vocational or work based.

You can leave school on the last Friday in June if you'll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays. 

  • Leaving school - This information offers strategies for supporting young people transitioning from secondary to further education, training and/or employment.

You must then choose whether to:

  • stay in full-time education - for example at school, sixth form college, further education college or University Technical College (UTC)
  • start an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering while also doing part-time education or training

Your local authority has a duty to make sure you are offered a suitable place by the end of September. This is known as the September Guarantee. Contact your local authority for information on who can help find you a suitable offer.

You may be eligible for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, which can help with things like books, travel or equipment if you will struggle with education or training costs.

If you have an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan, you can get support to choose your next steps and extra help when you are in education, training or work.


YP and adult looking at computer screen


Support at School

Schools and colleges must do their best to find out if you have special educational needs or a disability (SEND), and give you the support you need to learn.

They will look at: 

  • what support you need
  • what they can do to give you that support 

You can have your say about what support you get.

Until the age of 18, you have the right to a good quality education and you should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level you can.

Education is there to help you:

  • learn the skills in becoming an adult
  • be ready for work
  • have the chance to join in social events

Support you can get in education and training

As in school, you can carry on getting help with things you need, like:

  • a specialist tutor or note-taker
  • learning in a small group or through one-to one teaching
  • access to information in different ways like sign language, braille or using symbols
  • assistive technology like a tablet, reading pen, voice recognition or screen reading software
  • the support of a mentor or an advocate
  • access to therapies, like speech and language or support from mental health services
  • training in skills to live more independently

You may also be able to get some health care and social care support to help you with your learning and development. Your school's Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) can help you to find out if this applies to you.

Support at work

If you get a job, you may be able to get help through Access to Work for things like:

  • special equipment
  • adaptations to the workplace
  • a support worker

If none of these options are suitable, you may be able to get help to make a package of support that is tailored just for you. Your school careers adviser, disability charities or a parent support network can help you to ask for this.

Stay in full-time education / Combine work and study

Stay in full-time education

You could take a range of subjects that lead to qualifications that keep your options open, like GCSE or A levels. Courses like T Levels or BTEC allow you to focus on a chosen career area like construction, healthcare science or digital careers. Some careers may ask for specific qualifications, so always do some research into where the course you are interested in might lead.

Combine work and study

Gain practical skills, get work experience and a qualification that employers need.


Functional Skills and GCSE's

If you are over the age of 19 and looking to gain your qualification in maths or English at either function skills level or GCSE level then community learning offer free courses. Classes are available at different times of the day, to find out more information see the community learning website here.

Further Education

Sixth forms and colleges are known as further education and offer a variety of vocational and academic courses. Courses are provided at every level of learning to help young people achieve their aspirations and can give you skills and qualifications you might need when you are older.  It is important that you attend open days and events with your parents or carers to make sure the school or college is the right option for you.

  • sixth forms are usually part of a school and are for young people aged 16 to 18 years old
  • college is for young people aged between 16 and 25 years old

To find out what subjects or courses are available at sixth forms or colleges, have a look at HelpYouChoose.

Study Programmes

All 16 to 25 year old learners with SEND are funded for an individual study programme to help you achieve a substantial academic or vocational qualification or work experience.

Study programmes are tailored to meet your needs and reflect your previous achievements, aspirations and abilities and include:

  • substantial qualifications or work experience

  • Maths and English for students who have not passed their GCSE in these subjects by age 16

  • high-quality work experience

  • added value non-qualification activity

Further information can be found on the Gov website.

Care Farms

Care Farms use working farms to help you learn new skills as you prepare for adult life. The types of work that may be taught include:

  • caring for livestock, small animals and poultry - animal husbandry
  • growing crops and vegetables
  • looking after woodlands - woodland management

You will be supported when doing all of these activities. To find out more information about care farms and where they are, visit Care Farming UK.

Getting a job

After you have left full time education, you will probably want to find a job. Lots of people can help you find work, including:

For support in understanding more about working, contact the 16-19 Team, or check them out on Facebook.  They can help with:

  • advice and guidance
  • careers guidance
  • CVs and applications
  • interview techniques 

Here are some resources you might find useful:

s1 jobs have shared information on common questions asked in an interview and how to answer them.

Work or volunteer and study part time

Between 16 and 18 you can work or volunteer for 20 hours or more if you combine it with part-time study or training. There are schemes to help you to find the best places to look for jobs and get support in the workplace.

For more information on where and how to look, you can:

For support in understanding more about working, contact the 16-19 Team, or check them out on Facebook.  They can help with:

  • advice and guidance
  • careers guidance
  • CVs and applications
  • interview techniques 

You may also be able to combine lots of different types of activities, like a part-time college course to improve your English and maths, volunteering in a charity shop and getting skills to take care of yourself and travel independently.

Higher Education

You can search and apply for most higher education courses online.

You usually have to be 18 or older to take a higher education course. They’re usually taught in:

  • universities

  • colleges

  • specialist institutions like art schools or agricultural colleges

Higher education qualifications include:

  • diplomas

  • bachelor degrees

  • foundation degrees

  • post-graduate degrees

Full-time courses

Unistats - compare official course data from universities and colleges, including student satisfaction and jobs after study.

UCAS - search and apply for full-time courses by course name, provider name or location.

National Careers Service - search for full-time and part-time courses.

Part-time courses

National Careers Service - search for full-time and part-time courses.

Unistats - search for part-time courses. You’ll have to apply directly to the college or university.

Open University courses

The Open University - search and apply for distance learning courses

Specialist music, dance and drama courses

CUKAS - search and apply for music conservatoire courses.

Teacher training

How you apply depends on the level of the course and where you are.

Undergraduate teacher training

Check the UCAS teacher training website to find and apply for undergraduate courses.

Postgraduate teacher training

Find postgraduate teacher training in England.

Check the UCAS teacher training website to find and apply for postgraduate courses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Postgraduate courses

Search for postgraduate study on:

Courses at private institutions

Courses are also available at private institutions. Apply for these directly with the university or college. You can search for some through UCAS.

Help and advice

Call the UCAS Exam Results Helpline for advice if your exam results were higher or lower than expected.

Help if you're a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability

Disabled Students' Allowance

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is support to cover the study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long-term illness or any other disability.

This can be on its own or in addition to any student finance you get.

The type of support and how much you get depends on your individual needs - not your household income.

You do not need to pay back DSA.

What DSA can pay for

You can get help with the costs of:

  • specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
  • non-medical helpers, for example a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter or specialist note taker
  • extra travel to attend your course or placement because of your disability
  • other disability-related study support, for example having to print additional copies of documents for proof-reading

DSA does not cover disability-related costs you’d have if you were not attending a course, or costs that any student might have.

Buying a new computer

You may get a new computer if you’re assessed as needing one because:

  • you do not already have one
  • your current one does not meet your study needs

When buying a new computer, you’ll need to pay the first £200.

The DSA team will send you more information about this after your needs assessment.

Your ‘needs assessment’

Once your eligibility for DSA is confirmed, Student Finance England may ask you to contact an assessment centre to work out what help you need.

This is known as a needs assessment. Do not book this until Student Finance England asks you to.

The assessment is paid for through any DSA entitlement you may have.

After the assessment, you’ll get a report listing equipment and other support you can get for your course.

Do not buy any equipment until you’ve been assessed - you will not be reimbursed for it.

How DSA is paid

Money is paid either into your bank account or directly to the organisation providing the service or equipment.

You’ll find out how your support will be paid to you after your needs assessment.


You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you live in England and have a disability that affects your ability to study, such as a:

  • specific learning difficulty, for example dyslexia or ADHD
  • mental health condition, for example anxiety or depression
  • physical disability, for example if you have to use crutches, a wheelchair or a special keyboard
  • sensory disability, for example if you’re visually impaired, deaf or have a hearing impairment
  • long-term health condition, for example cancer, chronic heart disease or HIV

You must also:

  • be an undergraduate or postgraduate student (including Open University or distance learning)
  • qualify for student finance from Student Finance England
  • be studying on a course that lasts at least a year

More information about DSA can be found on the Gov website.


Community Learning Hub

For information about adult education, youth advice, music education and employment support visit the Community Learning MK Hub page here.


Employability Projects

These are free, short term projects which are designed to help young people develop relevant skills, qualities and attitudes needed to progress onto appropriate and sustainable education, training or employment options. 

Community Employment Service

The Community Employment Service is here to help you find work.

We have support sessions in various location across Milton Keynes. These are free to access and you can attend whichever suits you. 

Each service offers you practical help and advice with the steps towards finding work, guidance with identifying skills and potential work options and information about local job vacancies and training opportunities.

To find out more about the Community Employment Service, visit their website here.

MK Snap

MK SNAP has a dedicated team of 24 qualified and specialist staff and a team of volunteers here to support your loved ones develop their further educational needs and life skills. A tailor made curriculum containing over 20 courses and subjects is designed to suit the needs of our learners.


We are Mencap everything we do is about valuing and supporting people with a learning disability, and their families and carers.

Our vision is a world where people with a learning disability are valued equally, listened to and included.

Mencap are currently offering a traineeship, for more information please visit the website. 



Disclaimer: By sharing this information, we are not endorsing or quality checking any providers. Parents/carers/families remain responsible for their own research. We recommend contacting providers directly. 


SEND Team contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ


SENDIAS contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ


Schools contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ