Growing Up and Leaving School: Options 14-25

If you’re a young person (aged up to 25), you can check out our Inclusion page on Yor-Zone for information about what's next after school. Yor-Zone is a website for children and young people in York and the Inclusion page is just a condensed version of the Local Offer. On the Inclusion page, there’s lots of information about inclusive activities and sports, travel, discounts, school, further education, jobs and more!

What's next? Life, learning and work

Leaving school can seem daunting and can raise many questions what a young person should do next. There are lots of options out there and local organisations who can offer information and support to help young people make choices about their future.

To find out what it's really like, watch the video below! We spoke to six young people (George, Christopher, Hayleigh, Samantha, Jack and Diamond) about their own experiences leaving school:

We had the pleasure of chatting to Ellie, who detailed her experience studying catering at York College. Ellie found College to be an extremely supportive environment where she could learn new skills, meet new people and figure out steps for the future. Watch the video in full below!:

“I’d like to do Animal Care at Entry Level 3. I’m quite excited and looking forward to it because I really enjoy doing it. I like meeting new friends because it’s fun.” In the video below George explains his pathway in higher learning at Askham Bryan College and the variety of ways he chooses to socialise at Choose 2 Youth Group.

Samantha has made so many positive steps forward. Sam attends the Gateway Club every Tuesday to take part in arts and crafts, Hands and Voices to practice her singing, she swims, dances and cooks! Aside from her many social pursuits, Samantha got a job working at Maiden and Miller in the town centre and works at Cafe West also. She has made the transition to independent living, growing with confidence in the process.

We had the chance to sit down with Hayleigh and her mother Sara to talk about the great progress she has made since leaving school. Packed with a busy schedule Hayleigh goes to the Melbourne Centre and Pinetrees for a range of activities; cooking, art, rebound therapy, hydrotherapy, music, physiotherapy and more! Hayleigh has really taken to the change, going to different places on different days of the week, no day is the same and that's just how she likes it.

Diamond is certainly pro-active when it comes to social activities and learning! She attends Choose 2 Youth Club, playing football and basketball, she makes arts and crafts, learns to cook, as well as studying maths and english. Diamond moved from home, into a supported living home, where she is able to make the most of her own personal living space. 

Josh got a job working as a horticultural technician; gardening, sowing plants, weeding. Starting any job has it's challenges but through hard work and strong support Josh now feels comfortable and happy in the role. Outside of work, Josh spends his time playing football and tennis, as well as volunteering at St. Nick's field during the holidays. Early on Josh received assistance with travel, now he feels confident enough to walk and travel to his favourite social activities. 


Jack began working at Brunswick Organic Nursery two years ago, taking care of gardening and maintenance work, what started out as work one day a week quickly turned into three. Jack is set to start an internship at York Hospital with an aim to extend on a more permanent basis. Good luck Jack, keep up the fantastic work!

Christopher works at Cafe West serving customers within the City Of York Council office building. For three days a week Christopher attended the Blueberry Academy learning a range of DIY and art skills. Long term Christopher would like to carry on developing his skills and find work within art / retail sector. He has also found supported living to be a very rewarding experience.

Post 16 options

Information on options for young people after 16.

Transition Team

When a young person prepares for what they will do when they leave school and become an adult, this is described as transition or a journey into adult life. This can be a challenging time for young people aged 14 - 25, with many aspects to consider when planning for their future. The Transition Team works together to support families during this time and is based at The Zone, attached to Applefields School.

The Transition Team begins by finding out about the young person’s aims, hopes and ambitions. Care Managers (if you have one) also spend time with young people and those who know them to consider what their next steps after school may be. Creative ways are used to engage and communicate with young people and help them to think about and plan their future.

The team supports families and young people through the changes they face as their children grow up.


30 Clarence Street

Provide free and confidential information, support, advice and counselling to young adults aged 16 to 25 who live in the City of York. 30 Clarence Street can help with a whole range of things, and they will listen to you, help you explore your options and help you make decisions.


York Special Educational Needs Service

The Special Educational Needs service have a duty to enable pupils with special educational needs to reach their full potential, be included fully in their school/pre-school communities and make a successful transition to adulthood. .


There is lots of support out there to help young people with special educational needs and disabilities to access employment, further and higher education or receive advice and information about independent living.

Access to Work - The access to work grant helps pay for practical support for people with a disability, health or mental health condition to help you start working; stay in work or start your own business.

Disabled Living Foundation is a national charity and provides information on living independently.

Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) are for students in higher education who live in England. You can apply for a DSA if you have a disability, long term health condition; mental health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia.

FIRST - Family Intensive Rapid Support Team. A very small number of families will have support from the Family Intensive Rapid Support Team, (FIRST), a home-based multi-agency support service for families with young people with highly challenging behaviour. CAMHS and short breaks work closely together to provide this service.

Personal Budgets are a way of arranging social care services for disabled children, young people and their families. They give you more control and enables you to decide who supports your child. Personal Budgets can be used for many things to help maintain independence such as to employ a Personal Assistant (PA) or Buy support from an agency or other organisation.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64. PIP started to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged 16 to 64 from 8 April 2013. View the BSL guide to PIP online.

Becoming independent

Know your rights, know your benefits.

'Know your rights, know your benefits' is a guide for young people in care or leaving care. This helpful guide gives information about lots of things you might need support with including: help paying rent or council tax, what leaving care support you should receive, how to make a benefits claim and help setting up your first home.

Personalised Packages and Learning

Many young people and their families/carers prefer to choose a range of activities in York. Most young people with complex needs want to have a full, varied and active week. Specialist Careers Advisers and learning providers will work together with a young person to identify provision that enables them to meet their learning and skills goals.

Some young people also access:

  • York College
  • Blueberry Academy
  • Choose2 Youth
  • The ToolBox Project- an exciting Youth Mechanics workshop based in New Earswick, York. Offering budding mechanics right the way through to adults the chance to access accredited learning within the motor trade. 
  • Community Base Day Service
  • United Response
  • Ad Astra -we offer a means of education and engagement that is taylor made to suit each individuals needs. Working in partnership with Natural England and their team at Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve we can offer practical experience in the great outdoors. We back up what we do with in-house accreditation and LANTRA qualifications we also develop links with potential employers that can lead to full-time employment. Contact if you have any questions.
  • Tang Hall SMART- a social enterprise operatingfromBurnholme Community Hub in Bad Bargain Lane, York- providing popular music and arts-based clubs and other provisions for the local community and also to those experiencing disadvantage from the wider York area. Their offer includes:
    • SoundSMART music training programme for adults at 18+ years who have learning disabilities (Mondays 10.15am- 3pm)
    • Inclusive Rock and Pop school for 13+ (Mondays 3.45-5.15pm)
    • SAFE BASE- weekly provision for traumatised young people who have dropped out of school, typically with a late diagnosis of Aspergers,- this provision is not a music based one, but uses a person-centred, project based approach which incorporates disciplines as diverse as electronics, computers, art, video- making, creative writing etc (Tuesdays 1-3pm)
    • Accredited music- provision for teenagers who have learning disabilities either via Applefields or via a mainstream secondary school (Thursday 9.30am-11.45am)
    • Electronics workshop provision for teenagers who have learning disabilities (Thursdays 1.30-3pm)
    • Individualised programmes following an arts, electronics or marketing/ admin pathway for young people who have learning disabilities, of approximately 10 hours per week to include elements of job coaching- via York Learning.
  • York Learning's 16-25 provision Routes to Success -a supportive study programme that enables young people to move into adulthood with confidence and resilience, as well as relevant skills and qualifications.
  • Supported Internships and Apprenticeships
  • individual budgets if they access social care
  • Choose2, our fully inclusive youth club. “Yes I love coming. It gets me out. This is the place where I can tell everyone everything and feel really relaxed.”
  • a health action plan for those with complex health needs
  • mentoring services
  • access to colleges outside the city of York if young people have needs which cannot be met in York