Students with learning difficulties or disabilities

Options Post-16

Young people learningPost-16 options for young people with learning difficulties/disabilities can be the same as for other young people – see link to What are the options after Year 11?

However, there may be particular considerations about these options for young people with learning difficulties/disabilities. Also, in certain cases you may have the option of going to a specialist independent school or college or being part of a day or residential service.

See below for details of the options and support available:

Local Further Education Colleges

Many FE colleges have a Learning Support or Additional Needs Co-ordinator who will be able to advise on any specific help for courses within the college.

Special Needs Courses

Many local FE colleges offer specific courses for students with learning difficulties/disabilities and they can cater for a variety of disabilities. These courses are often preparation for FE, training or employment. Much of the emphasis is on support with literacy, numeracy, work preparation and social skills.


Support with transport costs may be available for students with learning difficulties/disabilities attending local FE colleges. This is means tested and parents may have to contribute towards the cost. You should check with the college and Local Authority to find out if you are eligible for help.

It is sometimes possible to have transport provided (ie a taxi) in exceptional circumstances. You will need to check this with your LA.

Access funds from local FE colleges may help towards transport costs or Social Care Services may provide transport for post-19 students who are unable to travel independently.


See link to Money Matters for further details.

Specialist Further Education

A number of residential and mainly independent FE colleges and schools exist throughout the country providing post-16 education for a variety of special educational needs. These may be an option only if there is no suitable further education available or if you can meet the costs. Your Connexions Personal Adviser can give you details and advice on these and funding or sponsorships available. Alternatively, you can contact your LA.

Apprenticeships, Jobs and Work Based Learning

See link to Jobs and Apprenticeships for further details.

Contact your Connexions Personal Adviser for details on work based learning.

There is specialised job search support for people with learning disabilities/difficulties. The Disability Employment Adviser at the Jobcentre Plus office works closely with disabled people seeking employment and can help to arrange special support schemes.

Voluntary and Supported Work, Day Services, Residential Sheltered Work and Residential Homes

The Local Authority Social Care – Children’s Services and Adult Services -  offer a range of opportunities for people who may need specific support in working and living.

Contact your Connexions Personal Adviser or Social Care Services for details of what is available in your area.

Moving On Action Plan (S139a)

An assessment of young people with learning difficulties and /or disabilities will take place when you are likely to undertake post-16 education or training. The responsibility for doing this has been given to Connexions through the Local Authority. The Moving On Action Plan will be written in your final year at school.

The purpose of the Moving On Action Plan is to give the education or training provider information about your needs which will help them to make sure appropriate support is available. This could include educational, training, social or health needs.

For further details about any of the options or support listed above, contact your local Connexions Centre – see link to Connexions Centres – or contact your Local Authority.