Post 16 Education, Training & Employment

Sefton Council’s aim is that all young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) are well prepared for adulthood and are supported to achieve their potential. High quality provision should be in place to enable young people to progress in learning, with the long term aim of achieving paid employment.

  • Appropriate provision should be available to enable young people with SEND aged 16-25 to access a range of support including education, training, work experience, Supported Internships, apprenticeships and voluntary work.
  •  Young people in Sefton and their parents/carers should be able to identify clear Post 16 progression routes.
  • Impartial, independent Careers Information, Advice and Guidance should be available.
  • Create conditions to enable young people to access suitable employment opportunities.

Post 16 Transition

The thought of Post 16 Educational Transition can be a worrying time for young people and parents and carers. However, it is important that everyone begins to think about Post 16 Transition as early as possible – certainly from the Year 9 Annual Review onwards where the idea of next steps and future education and employment options should be discussed. This enables young people and their families to explore possible destinations in Year 10 with visits to Open Nights being a useful way to find out about the type of courses and support offered at the Post 16 Provider. In Sefton, local Colleges aim to attend Year 11 Annual Reviews to get to know the young person prior to Transition. Young people should also be able to visit their preferred destination for taster visits during Year 11 so they are familiar with the new environment before starting.

It is important to know that young people and families are not on their own and the following help is available:

  • With local partners, Sefton has produced a Preparation for Adulthood Guide
  • Schools have a responsibility to provide impartial, independent Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG). Parents/Carers and young people should speak to the school SENCO to see what support can be offered
  • Where appropriate, the Council’s commissioned Information, Advice and Guidance provider, Career Connect can offer additional support around IAG and Transition


It may be helpful to watch the following videos to see what College life may look like:

Progression Routes – Education, Training and Employment

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. Local Further Education providers are Hugh Baird College and Southport College.

Prior to leaving school, each young person should have a preferred option for their Post 16 pathway. Careers, Information, Advice and Guidance should have been provided within the pre 16 educational setting resulting in the identification of suitable progression routes. 

Link to 6th Form Schools & Colleges list

High Needs Funding

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

The EHC Plan will be amended to name the receiving Post 16 provider.  If the young person later proves to be ineligible for a place at this Post 16 institution (i.e. does not achieve the entry grades specified) alternative provision will be considered and agreed with the young person and their family and the Plan will be amended to reflect this.

Study Programmes

A Study Programme is available to 16-19 year olds and consists of 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 4 and over 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.  The activities must prepare them well 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, 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.

The EHC Plan will cease:

  • When the local authority (LA) is confident that the objectives in the Plan have been met and it is considered that the young person no longer needs special educational provision.
  • The young person is not undertaking any type of education leading to accreditation.
  • A young person aged 16 or over leaves education to take up paid employment (including employment with training but excluding apprenticeships)
  • The young person enters higher education
  • The child or young person has moved to another local authority area

For some young people, their EHCP will continue beyond the age of 19, if it is considered that the young person requires a longer period in education or training in order to achieve their outcomes and make an effective transition into adulthood.

Paid Employment

Where appropriate, young people with SEND should receive support to help them progress into sustainable paid employment opportunities.  

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:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Supported internships

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


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.

A full list of available apprenticeships and traineeships is available from the National Apprenticeship Service and the Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub:  - National Apprenticeship Service  -  Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub

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.

Young people may be eligible for funding from Access to Work. This is available from the Department for Work and Pensions.  Schools and Post 16 institutions should support young people to apply if they are considering entering into apprenticeships or supported internships. The local authority will work in partnership with the young person, the family and the Post 16 institution to determine the best route for them. A thorough assessment will be conducted to ascertain the student’s potential, abilities, interests and areas they want to develop. A similar assessment will be carried out with any potential work placement to make certain the experience is a positive one for the young person.  

The Sefton Supported Internship Programme enables young people, aged 16-24 with an Education, Health and Care Plan, to access real employment opportunities.

For further details, please contact: 

Sefton MBC on (0151) 934 2347

Southport College on 01704 392 891 

Hugh Baird College on 0151 353 4444

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:

Information, Advice and Guidance

All Post-16 learners with SEN can access support from the Career Connect Service who will inform and guide learners and parents or carers to available information and sources of support. Career Connect will ensure that young people are able to identify and access the full local offer of post 16 opportunities.

The designated Career Connect member of staff will then outline options for the young person and parents/carers before assisting with the application. Advice and guidance is also sought from headteachers and principals. Career Connect can be contacted on 0151 944 6100.

Job-Centre Plus and Sefton@work offer specialist help and guidance for those young people looking to access employment by offering support or signposting to other available services and agencies for learners with special needs.   -  Guide to Job-Centre Plus      -  Sefton@Work

Better off in work guidance


Last Updated

Last updated: 21/12/2023

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