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Post 16 options for students with SEND

When a young person leaves school, some or all of the following options may be available to them, depending on their ability, independence and support needs:

  • full-time education at college
  • training or apprenticeships - either work-based or foundation learning
  • employment - open, supported or voluntary

Education options

These include staying on in school sixth form or non-maintained and independent specialist schools (NMISS), further education (FE) colleges and independent specialist colleges (ISC).

Financial help may be available if you're a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability via the Disabled Students' allowances.

Help and advice

As a parent carer you can claim benefits on behalf of your child until they reach the age of 16.

From the September after your child's 16th birthday, you will only be able to get payments for them as a dependent if they are in full-time education or on an approved training course.

Once your child reaches 16 they may be able to claim certain benefits in their own right. This could have an impact on your household income, because certain benefits will reduce if your child is no longer classed as a dependent. For information on how your benefits might be affected, contact a specialist benefits advisor; for example at a Citizens Advice Bureau.

In some cases young people with disabilities will not be able to manage their own benefit payments and will need an appointee (usually their parent or carer) to help them.

Transitions from school to work

If your child decides to move into work, they might want advice and guidance. They can get specialist advice about work and disability through a Disability Employment Adviser at their local Jobcentre Plus office. This adviser can help with assessments, work plans and advise on schemes such as Access to work and Workchoice.

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