Young people have a range of options post 16.  If you have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), some of these options may be better than others in helping you prepare for adult life.  For some young people, post 16 options may mean supported or independent living, good health, friends, relationships and community inclusion. 

Whatever is best for you, we are working with learning providers to ensure there are choices that will meet your needs.  We recommend that you also look at the Post 16 Education section on this website which is listed under "Education" to understand the full range of Post 16 options up to Further and Higher Education and also Adult Education courses.

In 2014, the law changed with the Children and Families Act 2014 coming into force. Achieving for Children (AfC) carried out a post 16 SEND Review into existing post 16 learning provision.  During the review, we worked with families (particularly through SEND Family Voices) and learning providers in Kingston and Richmond to develop a ‘Local Offer’ of learning and employment pathways.  We took on board recommendations from families, who said that what was needed included study programmes at entry level/Level 1, SEND traineeships and apprenticeships, supported internships and supported employment, enhanced work experience placements in KS4 and independent travel training (as a vital step toward employability).  We also took on board that more bespoke provision was needed on a school site for small groups of young people with SEND.

As a result of the review, current provision includes the following, which is currently available this year and is planned for 2017/18. Please check out the individual provider websites for further details and to find out more about availability.

St Mary's University

St Mary's aims to provide an inclusive environment for all students, including students with additional support requirements.

We offer advice and support to our students who have requirements as a result of a disability, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia), medical condition or temporary disability, such as injury.

If you have an ongoing medical condition, specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, mental health condition, or physical or sensory impairment, you can also register with the Wellbeing Service (Disability and Dyslexia) at any time during your studies at St Mary’s University. If you’re not sure if this applies to you, please contact us.

Visit the St Mary's University website

St Mary's Widening Participation Activity

St Mary's First Star Academy ( support for young people in foster care)

Supported internships are structured study programmes based primarily at an employer. If you have a learning difficulty or disability, a supported internship could enable you to achieve sustainable, paid employment.  It will equip you with the skills you need for work through learning in the workplace.  Internships normally last for a year and include unpaid work placements of at least six months.  You should be able to move into paid employment at the end of your internship.  You will 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.

The Department for Education (DfE) has published the following guidance for:

  • further education colleges
  • sixth forms in academies
  • maintained and non-maintained schools independent specialist providers
  • other providers of study programmes, and
  • local authorities

DfE Supported Internships Guidance 

Here are details of the colleges we already work closely with as part of our Post 16 Partnership, however you may find similar options in other locations. 

Kingston College

Kingston College is a large, further education (FE) college serving the south west London region, offering a wide range of subjects from Entry Level up to Level 4, as well as apprenticeships.

Kingston College and Carshalton College also deliver supported internships for students with learning difficulties and disabilities aged 16 - 24 years with an EHCP.  Internships are a work based programme, specially adapted to develop each individual’s skills and attributes. This consists of on-the-job training with a job coach, if required; provided by experienced and qualified staff and a structured college based study programme matched to individual need.

From September 2017 the College is expanded its provision to include internships up to Level 3.  These provide an excellent route into paid jobs at a higher level.  If you are interested in finding out more about internships with a range of local employers:

Visit the Kingston College website - search for: supported learning

Richmond upon Thames College

Richmond upon Thames College can support students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities in a safe and inspiring learning environment through their dedicated team of skilled specialists who are responsible for ensuring that effective and appropriate support and reasonable adjustments are in place for students requiring assistance with accessing their academic studies and in their progression on to higher education, apprenticeships or employment.

Richmond upon Thames College has a Pathway to Work programme, which is aimed at preparing young people with learning difficulties and disabilities for the world of work through a one day a week internship in the college’s Apple Tree Café and further work placements throughout the year.  At the end of the year these young people will either transition to a local Project Search programme or employment.

Visit the Richmond College website - search for: supported learning

Orchard Hill College

Orchard Hill College offers WorkStart courses which provide excellent opportunities for anyone over the age of 19 who would like to gain experience and qualifications in work-related learning. WorkStart comprises two courses: Into Work and Traineeship. 

Courses range from Entry Level to Level 1 and Level 2 (GCSE level) and time spent in college ranges from 4 to 16 hours per week in small groups.

Students who have participated in WorkStart courses have gone onto gain paid and voluntary employment in a huge range of jobs

If you feel WorkStart may be of interest please call 0345 402 0453 or email to find out about availability and start dates. 

Visit the Orchard Hill College website - click on College - Courses - Supported Internship

You may not have achieved your 5 GCSEs A*-C in Year 11 and are not able to progress to a Level 3 learning programme in Year 12.  Or some learners may just need some more support to take steps towards the next level of learning, or into employment. 

The Harlequins Hitz Programme is a 540 hour study programme and is aimed at young people with low qualifications. Learners must be aged 16-19 and learners with SEND will also be considered up to age 24 on a case by case basis. There are no formal entry requirements. 

Learners will achieve the following qualifications upon successful completion of the programme:

  • Functional Skills English (Accredited)
  • Functional Skills Maths (Accredited)
  • BTEC L1 Sport and Active Leisure
  • BTEC Award in Work Skills (36 credits+)
  • Emergency First Aid Course. (1 Day)

BTEC in WorkSkills and Sport and Leisure are delivered through both practical and classroom based sessions and assessment is carried through the completion of portfolios.

The learners also have access to a wide range of enrichment activities potentially including:

  • Participating in rugby and a range of sports.
  • Adventure activity days and courses.
  • Volunteering in the local community and on match days
  • Industry days
  • Guest speakers 
  • Land Rover Experience Days 
  • Attending Aviva Premiership Rugby Final, professional rugby match days.

For more information or to sign up to this programme please contact Clare Huntingford at


Kingston Adult Education

Kingston Adult Education run a Steps into Employment programme for 16-18 year olds that is particularly suited to young people who have left school or college and are not sure what to do or lack qualifications and work experience.  Learners attend three days a week on a personalised learning programme.  Work experience and work tasters are available. Learners work towards qualifications in maths, English, and gain employability skills, and personal and social development. The course length is determined by individual need and young people are helped into further education, employment or an apprenticeship at the end of the course.

Visit the Kingston council website - search for: adult education courses

Watch this Bitesize video clip about reasonable adjustments for students
Xavier Centre, Richard Challoner School

The Xavier Centre provides specialist provision for students with moderate learning difficulties (MLD). Students will study a range of entry level qualifications up to Level 1 in English, Maths and ICT as well as life skills. In addition, students have the opportunity to develop their skills across a range of practical subject areas. Links between the provision and the school’s mainstream sixth form are fostered to ensure that pupils feel part of the wider school community. The programme lasts for two consecutive, academic years (Year 12 and Year 13) and students can develop links with local colleges in their 2nd year.

Visit the Xavier Centre website​

​Bedelsford School

Bedelsford School is an Outstanding (Ofsted rating) special school for pupils aged 2 to 19, who have a wide range of physical disabilities, including profound and multiple learning difficulties and complex health needs. Classes are small with approximately ten pupils in each class with teaching support on hand depending on the needs of the class. The school has a therapy room, hydrotherapy pool, specialist interactive sensory rooms, a sensory theatre, a science room, design and technology room and a communication support base which provides support and an optimum learning environment supported by the availability of strong visual cues for pupils with Autism as part of their diagnosis.

Visit the Bedelsford website

Learn more about Bedelsford post 16 provision