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Preparing for Adulthood - Further Education and Training


Further education and training can offer young people the opportunity to develop your independence, help you to get a job or go onto further study amongst other things.

Schools are responsible for providing you with independent information, advice and guidance from at least Year 8 about your options after you leave school including further study.  Schools can ask other agencies such as Adviza to give this advice on their behalf. Many young people with special educational needs and disabilities are able to attend a local FE college or a school sixth form in their local area with the right support.  

To find out about apprenticeships, traineeships and supported internships, please go to the help to find work section of the Local Offer.

To find out more..


Moving on after school 

A young person will start to have discussions about their future and what they would like to do when they leave school when they are in Year 8.

From Year 8 onwards all pupils should receive impartial information, advice and guidance (IAG) through their school about all of the education, training and employment opportunities on offer. This should be tailored to the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.  Schools can ask outside agencies such as Adviza to deliver this advice on their behalf.

The Year 9 Review

There is a formal process to help young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to plan what they will do when they leave school.

For young people with a Statement of Special Educational Need (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care Plan, the Annual Review in Year 9 (and every Annual Review after that) has a focus on planning for adulthood and transition support needed. 

You can read more about the Year 9 Annual Review process and planning for moving on after school.


Further studies at school or college 

You can choose to do further studies at a school sixth form or a Further Education (FE) college.   

If you have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan in place to support you, this can continue whilst you undertake your studies.

School Sixth Forms

Secondary and upper schools in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) all have sixth form provision.  You can find more information about each of the RBWM schools with sixth forms.

Local Further Education Colleges

We also have a number of Further Education (FE) colleges in the local area that offer a range of support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. You can choose to undertake mainstream or specialist courses.

Within the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, there are the following FE Colleges. Click on the blue links to see each college's 'Local Offer' (information about the support they provide for young people with special educational needs and disabilities)

A bit further afield there are the following:


Specialist and Residential Colleges

Most young people with special educational needs are able to attend a mainstream college or training provider but a small number of students with very complex needs may need to attend an independent specialist or residential college, if their needs cannot be met in a local FE college. 

These colleges can provide either day or residential provision and are designed to prepare the young person for adult life including employment and training where possible.  There is also an emphasis on developing self care and independence skills.

Some young people may have a combination of specialist and mainstream college.

You can view information about the full range of specialist colleges on the NATSPEC (The Association of National Specialist Colleges) website. 

You can also find information on the Section 41 Approved List of special schools and post 16 institutions.  These institutions have special admission arrangements.


Support at college 

Many students with SEN and disabilities will have their needs met by the college.  Colleges have Additional Learning Support departments to support you.  Colleges have the same responsibilities as schools to provide for young people with SEND - you can find further information on this in the SEND Code of Practice. FE Colleges must also do everything they reasonably can do to remove barriers to learning for disabled students.

The support offered through the college is called "SEN Support".  Some students with higher level needs may need an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.

An EHC Plan is a document that states what support a young person with special educational needs should have. It looks at your needs, what you would like to achieve in the future and the support needed from different agencies to do this.

This kind of document used to be called a Statement for young people at school or a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) for young people at college.

You can find more information about EHC plans in the EHC Plan section of the Local Offer.  You can also contact the Council's Children and Young People Disability Service for further information on 01628 685878 or email

Some students may also be eligible for a 16-19 Bursary to help with education-related costs if you’re aged 16 to 19 and studying at a local school or college or you are on a training course.

Please see the Royal Borough's Post 16 transport policy and travel assistance scheme for information about transport support to get to college.


Studying at university 

Many young people with SEN and disabilities are able to go onto university (Higher Education) with the right support.

Most university degrees take three years to complete so it is important to choose your course and place of study carefully.  It is a good idea to go on open days to visit universities to look at the facilities and the college environment to make sure it is right for you.  You can also find out about the course in more detail. 

Your school or college can offer you advice and guidance on applying for university including providing you with support for your application. All applications to universities are made through the UCAS websiteYou can also also find information about the right university for you on the What Uni website.

Universities have disability advisory services who give information, advice and guidance to disabled students and staff who support them. They can also help with organising study support.  It’s a good idea to get in touch with them as soon as possible to discuss what support you might need and so that this can be put in place before you start.  The UCAS website has more details about how and when to do this as part of your university application.


Support at university 

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

It is not possible to continue to have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan once you go to university.  If you have already had an EHC Plan in place prior to going to university and you are happy to do so, it would be beneficial to share this with the university so that they are aware of your needs and the type of support you have received so far. The Local Authority will pass a copy of the Plan to the university as soon as your place is confirmed if you ask us to.

Students who need extra support at university might be able to get help through the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). You can speak to the University's Disability Advisory Service about applying for this.

If you are eligible, DSA can help you with any specialist equipment you might need for your education, non medical help such as a scribe or notetaker and travel allowance.  It's a good idea to apply for DSA as early as possible as the process can take around 14 weeks.

To find out more about Disabled Students Allowance..

Other financial help

The website has general information about student finance  and information about hardship fundsThere is also a student finance calculator.

You could also ask your university about financial support – you can contact the Student or Learning Support department about this. 

Support for your care needs

As part of the transition process of moving into adult social care, the Local Authority will plan with you what social care support you may need whilst you are at university and who will provide this for you.  Usually the adult social care department in your home Local Authority will provide your care and support.  You can find more information about support for your care needs on the Local Offer.


Further information

The Disability Rights Uk website has a number of useful fact sheets about support and finance for disabled students. They also have a Disabled Students helpline.

Scope has advice and tips about going to University on their website.


Young people's stories 

You can read about other young people's experiences of studying at university on the following website (information will open in a new window)..

Preparing for adulthood