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Post 16 Education & Training Provision

Sefton has a diverse range of post 16 education and training provision for young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). As each young person approaches key points of transition (16 or 19), they should have a preferred option for their Post 16 pathway.

Options include school sixth forms (mainstream or special schools), general further education colleges, specialist post 16 institutions and vocational learning and training providers.

Young people with additional needs will usually have been identified at an earlier stage in their educational life. For young people with Education, Health and Care Plans, the needs will have been assessed by various professionals including teachers, educational psychologists, medical practitioners, SEN officers and social workers.

Many of the young people will have been identified as having mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties. Where that difficulty can be addressed in mainstream school with additional support, it will be. If the need is such that specialist provision is more appropriate, then that will be the recommendation on the Education Health and Care Plan. Sefton has a commissioned Information, Advice and Guidance service, Connexions, to work with young people and parents/carers to provide support and advice at these key points of transition.

All students should follow a clear Study Programme. This is an academic programme or a substantial vocational qualification and is a mixture of qualification and non-qualification (tutorial and work experience) hours.  For the non-qualification hours, learners are required ‘where appropriate…to take part in work experience’, that is relevant to their course of study.  Young people who haven’t yet achieved GCSE Grade ‘C’ in English and maths at 16 will continue to study these subjects, by taking Functional Skills or similar provision to enable them to progress towards their GCSE achievement.

Those students who aren’t able to study an academic programme or a substantial vocational qualification due to their level of need, will follow a non-qualification programme.  Key to the Preparation for Adulthood agenda is ensuring that these programmes help prepare the young people for employment, independent living, being healthy adults and participating in society. Young people should not be repeating learning they have already completed successfully.

The Post 16 provider must undertake Annual Reviews to ascertain progress made towards objectives in the EHC Plan, ensuring that support remains effective and is adjusted where necessary and to discuss onward transition.  For funding to be continued beyond the first year of study, the reviews will need to demonstrate that young people are making progress towards their individual objectives.

Providers can, if required, submit requests for additional, top up (known as Element 3) funding. Applications are submitted to the Sefton Post 16 High Needs Funding Panel and requests should be personalised, evidence-based and linked directly to learning outcomes in the EHC Plan.  Outcomes for young people must be ambitious and challenging

Paid Employment

A key feature of the SEN Reforms has been to highlight that a high proportion of young people with SEND are capable entering sustainable paid employment, with the right preparation and support.  

It is the responsibility of the local authority, partners and providers to work with the young people and parents/carers to identify the suitable path towards employment, raising aspirations and expectations throughout the process.

Through the EHC Plan Outcomes and Reviews, young people should be encouraged to gain an understanding of the world of work and be helped to develop the type of skills required by employers.

A young person will maintain their EHC Plan if they entered the following employment with training opportunities:

  • Traineeships
  • Apprenticeships
  • Supported internships

The EHC Plan will cease if a young person enters an employment option other than those specified below.


These are education and training programmes with work experience, focusing on giving young people the skills and experience they need to help them compete for an apprenticeship or other jobs. Traineeships last a maximum of six months and include core components of work preparation training, English and maths (unless GCSE A*-C standard has already been achieved) and a high quality work experience placement. Young people can retain their EHC Plan when on a traineeship.


These are paid jobs that incorporate training, leading to nationally recognised qualifications. Apprentices earn as they learn and gain practical skills in the workplace. Many lead to highly skilled careers. Young people with EHC plans can retain their plan when on an apprenticeship.

Supported internships

These are structured study programmes for young people with an EHC Plan, based primarily at an employer. Internships can last up to a year and include extended unpaid work placements of at least six months. Wherever possible, they support the young person to move into paid employment at the end of the programme. Students complete a personalised study programme which includes the chance to study for relevant substantial qualifications, if suitable, and English and maths to an appropriate level. Young people with EHC plans will retain their plan when undertaking a supported internship. Sefton currently has 2 Supported Internship programmes – at Hugh Baird College and Southport College.

Starting your own business

Setting up your own business is a big step, and not something that many people do when they have just left school or college.

Entrepreneurs need a good business idea, enterprise skills, advice from expert and must be prepared to work really hard. Free, impartial advice can be obtained by visiting Sefton’s business support website:

2. Arrangements for Supporting Children…

  • There is a strong corporate parenting board which has a care leavers sub group and identifies those with special needs.
  • There are adequate safeguarding arrangements in place for those learners over 16 who are in residential provision and have special needs.

9. It is essential that such services and provision are detailed and known about prior to agreements being reached about transition to a post 16 or post 19 provision. This will be part of the commissioning contract, and will be assessed by the post 16 placement panel before committing to a placement. Services will be commissioned jointly with the local authority, where possible, dependent upon needs and numbers. Where the right provision cannot be resourced locally, then a regional or national alternative will be found.

The services, provision and equipment needed will be detailed in the EHC Plan and will be considered in the commissioning process for an educational placement post 16 or post 19. These needs will be further assessed by the receiving school or college. While FE Colleges and 6th Forms do have available funding for young people with special needs, additional funding can be applied for via the Post 16 High Needs Panel. For local authority schools, the services available post 16 will be very similar to those jointly commissioned services for pre 16 schooling, and will be funded through the direct schools grant system. For other placements, the additional support services will be individually commissioned by the college, and the funding will constitute part of the overall contract for the placement. Some colleges choose to commission a range of local authority or health services, whilst others provide their own range of specialist help and equipment.