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What does education look like after 16?

When a young person leaves school, they will move onto some form of education or training.  This is often referred to as Post 16 (as most young people are 16 when then they start their next education setting after leaving school).

Post 16 education or training usually consists of:

  • A substantial qualification (such as BTEC's, NVQ's or A-Levels)
  • Continuing to improve English and maths, working towards GCSE grade C / grade 4 when a young person has not achieved a grade 4 at school.
  • Work experience

Post 16 education or training can last for anywhere between 1-3 years, depending on the young person’s starting point.

Disabled young people and those with special educational needs might need more support to complete a course

The 3 main types of study programme usually followed by young people:

Work based
This is learning & training that takes place in a work environment. It is a practical way of learning that offers real life work experience whilst working towards relevant qualifications in the industry.
E.g. Supported Internship, Traineeship, Apprenticeship

This is learning involving more practical activities and is commonly used to prepare a person for a particular type of job or industry. These qualifications enable you to develop industry skills which can be applied to real life situations to prepare for employment. They also support the development of independence and like skills. Some courses may require learners to take exams as well as produce evidence of their new skills and knowledge throughout the year.

This is a more formal style of learning that is usually based on theory rather than practical activities. These qualifications are recognised by employers and universities. They also support the development of independence and life skills. Assessments usually include an exam towards the end of the course and the learning style provides good foundations for progression to higher education.
E.g. GCSE, AS Level, A Level

More information about what is available Post 16 can be found on the C+K careers website (opens in new window), you can also call them on 01484 242000.

When a young person is at school they attend 5 full days a week, however:

When a young person starts in Post 16 education or training they may not be in education for 5 days a week.

Post 16 study programs are generally around 16 hours per week (around 540 hours per year), this is considered to be a full time program and is usually offered over 3 days a week.  Sometimes the time will be spread out over more than 3 days, this is something that the education or training provider can tell you.

It is really important to think about what will happen when the young person is not in college, some may be able to fill this time with homework and part time work, but this may not be appropriate for those with SEND.  More information about this can be found below.

Further education colleges have to follow the same rules as mainstream schools when it comes to providing support for young people with SEND. 

They have to provide support to meet the needs of the young people who attend them. 

If the young person receives SEND support at school currently, it is worth discussing this with the college to see what support the college can offer.

If the young person has an EHCP at school then this is something that needs to be discussed at annual review meetings from year 9 onward in order to look at if the support of an EHCP is still needed.

If this support is still needed then the EHCP will stay in place and the college or training provider will provide the support which is described in the EHCP.

When the EHCP is reviewed, it should be discussed how a young person will manage with being in college for 3 days a week and what they will do for the other 2 days a week as well if any extra support is needed.

Kirklees Council should consider the need to provide a 5 day package of provision* & support (if required), this can be from education, health and social care.

*Provision can mean education, training, day care etc.

Five-day packages of provision and support do not have to be all at the same place and could involve amounts of time at different places and in different settings.  For example a young person with complex needs may spend 3 full days a week in college and 2 days a week at a day care provision from social care.


It may include periods outside education institutions with appropriate support, including time and support for independent study. A package of provision can include non educational activities such as:


  • volunteering or doing community activities
  • work experience
  • opportunities that will equip young people with the skills they need to make a successful transition to adulthood, such as independent travel training, and/or skills for living in semi-supported or independent accommodation
  • training to enable a young person to develop and maintain friendships and/or support them to access facilities in the local community.

These packages can also include health related activities such as physiotherapy.  Full-time packages of provision and support set out in the EHCP's should include any time young people need to access support for their health and social care needs.


When looking at what package would be appropriate, Kirklees Council should think about how young people learn and the additional time and support they may need to undertake coursework and homework as well as time to socialise with their college peers within the college environment.


In some cases, courses normally offered over three days may need to be spread over four or five days where that is likely to lead to better outcomes. Kirklees Council will need to work with providers and young people to ensure there is a range of opportunities that can be tailored to individual needs, including the use of Personal Budgets (where appropriate).  More information about personal budgets can be found on the Local Offer personal budgets (education) page.


In making decisions about packages of support, Kirklees Council should take into account the impact on the family and the effect this impact is likely to have on the young person’s progress.


Who can provide activities for the days when not in college?


There are a few teams in Kirklees who can help you to look at who can provide some help and support if needed:


  • My Life team - work with young people who do not have social care support in place.   Please see our My Life page.
  • Community Enablement Team - can work with young people aged 16+ on independence skills.  Please see our Community Enablement page.
  • Community Plus - can help you to find community organisations and volunteering opportunities.  Please see our Community Plus page.
  • Children with a disability service (CWD) - This is a specialist children’s social care service with a focus on providing advice, support and services to disabled children and their families.  Please see our CWD page.
Last updated: 17/12/2021

Useful links

Moving on from education (including apprenticeships)

Local Offer

Supported Emlpoyment

Local Offer

Preparing for adulthood

Local Offer

Careers information

Local Offer