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Post 16 Education Options

After young people leave secondary school their education will change. For most the focus is on preparation for adult life. Learning could become more vocational, helping young
people identify opportunities for potential employment in the future, and enabling them to develop the skills they will need to be successful. For some the focus will be on improving
communication and independent living skills.

Most college courses are 3 days per week and other learning programmes are usually 3 or 4 days giving young people time for other activities, outside of education, which could continue
into adult life.

To see how education settings in York will monitor your child's progression and development, visit the monitoring progress page


Local Further Education in York (Colleges, Sixth Forms and Study Programme)

Askham Bryan College

Askham Bryan College offers a range of practical outdoor courses with a focus on independent living, animal care and horticulture. The courses are designed for young people over the age of 16, including those with additional needs. Young people or their carers should get in touch to discuss requirements and request information about personalised taster days and campus tours.

Askham Bryan College has a specialist Learning Support department, this team works closely with the specialist curriculum teams and students to provide support which is appropriate to a students individual needs. 

Askham Bryan provides a banded approach to teaching with the specialist curriculum teaching team receiving the information, advice, guidance and training from the Learning support coordinators. They acknowledge that some students work best with an embedded curriculum with a good or outstanding teaching and learning environment with appropriate adjustments being made to materials, approaches and strategies and also (where possible) assessments. However some students work best in a shared whole class support and some work best with a more intensive package with individual support. The banded approach allows for students with difficulties and disabilities to achieve just as well as their peers and develop their confidence and independence.


Joseph Rowntree School

Throughout sixth for at Joseph Rowntree there will be close links produced with other local sixth form providers.


Fulford School



All Saints Roman Catholic School

For relevant pupils transition visits to York College and Askham Bryan (along with other local providers)are arranged. All Saints have a designated Connexions Advisers who provide additional advice and guidance whilst studying.


Huntington School

The David Edwards Library and Resource Centre houses the Learning Support Department which is available for students right through until they leave 6th form

Year 11- post 16 provision transition- liaise with other post-16 providers to ensure a smooth transition and ensure support is valuable- additional career support, site visits, transport support

Huntington school logo


Minster Provision

The provision will be delivered by Applefields School working in partnership with Askham Bryan College. Applefields is a special school for secondary aged students with a wide range of learning difficulties who live in York and the surrounding areas of North Yorkshire and the East Riding.

This course is aimed at learners who are 19+ years of age with complex needs based working at Entry Level 1 and below. The provision will be delivered by Applefields School working in partnership with Askham Bryan College. Applefields is a special school for secondary aged students with a wide range of learning difficulties who live in York and the surrounding areas of North Yorkshire and the East Riding.

Assessments through qualification will be through the building of a portfolio of evidence at award, certificate or diploma and dependent on the individual learners.
Learners must meet the following entry requirements:

•     In receipt of an Education Health and Care Plan
•    19+ years of age
•    Subject to an interview and subsequent admissions panel


Applefields offers Post 16 continuing education to prepare students for the next stage of their life, including access to further education. Students are eligible to continue to attend Applefields school for up to 3 years Post 16 provision (up until the end of the school year in which they turn 19 years old). During this time students will continue to be eligible for home to school transport provided by their local authority (do check with your local authority to ensure that they provide this)

The curriculum focuses more on the development of personal and social independence skills as well as skills in literacy and numeracy. Vocational training, work experience, independent living, travel training, personal and social education and also a broad PE and leisure programme are also covered for the students during their time at Applefields. 

Staff at Applefields will work with the students, their parents and carers and also the local authorities Connexions or Careers service to provide guidance about the range of provision available post school provision.

Applefields links with York College and Askham Bryan which offers the student with the possibility of transferring to these mainstream colleges with specialist education courses.


Archbishops Holgate's School

Archbishop Holgate’s School provides a Work Skills Course runs through Key Stage 4 but also into Key Stage 5. Entry requirements are subject to interview. The Head of Work Skills builds a strong relationship with the student to help ensure that there is a smooth transition from Year 11 into Year 12. This is done through an integrated approach liaising with schools and their SENCOs to fully understand the individual needs of that student.

BTEC Work Skills offers the students the opportunity to work towards a Level 2 qualification in Year 12 and Level 3 in Year 13. The qualification is flexible in the sense that it can be tailored to meet individual needs. This course runs alongside the opportunity for the students to also participate in a work placement 2 days a week. This allows students to gain practical work experience and provides a valuable insight into the world of work.

Some of the topics covered include managing your own money, searching for a job, interview skills, working as a team, planning for work and career progression. The aim of this course is to prepare students to progress into further vocational education, apprenticeships or employment.

York College

York College offers support for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (SEN) including specialist staffing, equipment and resources and can make reasonable adjustments in discussion with the student, whether or not they have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). There is also a specialist programme for 16 to 24-year-old young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities who would like to study at entry level or level 1.

York College offers a programme called Pathway to Work and Independent Living. This programme enables students to study at Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3 or Level 1. You do not need qualifications for these courses and they can be personalised to suit the particular needs of the student. Students study English and Maths, Personal and Social Development and where appropriate, undertake work related learning or work experience and study units which will help them work towards work related qualifications.

What have past students said about the Pathway to Work and Independent Living Programme?

"My name is Jamie, I used to go to Applefields School. I went to York College and did The Pathway to Work and Independent Living Course. I feel that they course prepared me for the world of work"

York College have also produced a booklet called 'Able to Learn', which gives more information on the types of support the college can offer. To find out more about additional learning support or the Pathway to Work and Independent Living Programme you can call the Learning Support Team on 01904 770428

Routes 2 Success is a supportive study programme that enables young people to move into adulthood with confidence and resilience, as well as relevant skills and qualifications. The programme would benefit learners who are not ready to access mainstream post-16 study, and those who learn more effectively in a small group setting or require additional support. Routes 2 Success is usually 3 days a week. To access the programme learners will need to be between the ages of 16 and 18, or up to 25 with an EHCP.



Other Opportunities for Training and Learning

Young people might want to consider other vocational training opportunities in York. Learning opportunities may include English, Maths, ICT as well as different job related training and employability skills.


Specialist Colleges

These are often referred to as independent specialist providers or ISPs. Some young people and their families/carers seek specialist education placements at an ISP. These colleges offer full time and part time further education programmes for post-16 students.

Residential and day placements are available by contacting the Association of National Specialist Colleges (Natspec).

The local authority continues to commission places at independent specialist colleges outside York if the education and training offer in York is unable to meet a young person’s needs. This is usually if students have complex, multiple and profound difficulties meaning that their broader support, health and care needs prevent them accessing education and training in a local setting.

When a place at an independent specialist college is commissioned it is generally agreed in principle for one year only. Subsequent years require a review of progress and is subject to the approval of the local authority. Places are not commissioned solely to improve independent living skills.

Personalised Learning and Work Experience Programmes

These programmes provide an exciting alternative which places the focus on work experience accompanied by a bespoke package of learning which prepares the learner for employment (or volunteering) and independent living, building towards living a full adult life in York. This pathway would be appropriate for young people who would like to continue their education when they leave school and require a more flexible programme than is available through a solely college or training provider based route.

It combines three elements:
• education and training with the opportunity to gain further qualifications and employability skills
• leisure activities with the opportunity to meet and socialise with other students
• work experience and voluntary opportunities in an area suited to the young person’s interests and ideas with a sustained period of time in a placement with one or more organisations to help build a track record of experience for a CV as well as strengthen employability skills.

Blueberry Academy

Personalised Learning is designed to meet the individual needs of young people. The student can choose the direction that they want to go in and develop the skills they need. This can include learning life skills, managing more independence and moving towards employment.

Personalised Learning is open to young people aged 16-25 years old who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP.)

Personalised Learning pathways at Blueberry can be towards Employment or Independence, or a mixture of both.

All Pathways are initially for one year and run for 3 or 4 days per week, depending upon the needs of the individual student.

Students can attend for 1, 2 or 3 years, as long as they are still making educational progress.

Blueberry delivers these programmes on behalf of York Learning, as part of City of York Council's local offer to support young people in preparing for adulthood. Each student has an individual programme which is tailored to their personal independence or employment goals.

Blueberry also delivers PLPs in Selby and Scarborough on behalf of North Yorkshire Adult Learning.

Learning and training can take place in the following ways:

  • through taught sessions (group or one to one) in our Learning Hubs
  • in our own in-house supported employment activities
  • through organised community activity or volunteering opportunities
  • on a work placement or Supported Internship, supported by a Blueberry Job Coach


For more information, follow the link below to the Blueberry Website and Facebook Page

- Blueberry Website

- Blueberry Facebook Page



Choose 2 Youth provide a tailor-made approach to learning programmes. A programme is  designed to suit each young person’s needs. For example current students take part in: skills for life, functional skills, drama, communication, horticulture, upcycling, physical exercise including crossfit, rebound, hydro and swimming. They are also supported in a variety of work placements and Choose2 have their own training café within the Hull Road Park.

This is an individual person-centred programme based upon input from the student, parents/carers and support professionals. Students may progress on to further learning, volunteering, supported employment or a range of local activities in York.


Tang Hall Smart 

Tang Hall Smart CIC is the ‘go-to’ place for Post 16 students who enjoy music, art, drama, or dance and who require a higher degree of flexibility and attention to the needs and interests of the individual than would be found in larger settings. From 2022, they are operating out of two sites, The Centre@Burnholme, Mossdale Avenue, where they have a suite of 7 rooms, but also The Jam Factory in the Groves, which includes several sound-proofed rehearsal rooms, and a fantastic recording studio.

Core programmes in music or arts, are highly individualised to suit students of any ability, from entry level to A Level equivalent. All programmes are accredited by RSL, who are the industry respected vocational qualifications awarding body for creative and performing arts.

The standard core programme is for 14 hours and would be spread over 3 days. Students can opt to include drama, dance, electronics, and woodcraft as part of this core programme, and then functional skills would be added on top where appropriate. There is also the option to extend the programme by adding independent living skills (including cookery lessons), and/or sport/gym which could result in a 4-day timetable.

Tang Hall Smart includes access to its own digital college SMART SPACE as part of the experience, holds regular gigs and concerts, has its own record label, offers a good package of pastoral care, and from September 2022 is offering employability training for music/art industries.

More information is available on the website or you can contact Sue Williamson for a brochure and video of the course:
Phone: 07725 997342

Toolbox Project

The Toolbox Project is a social enterprise designed to engage with young people and adults, to educate them in the world of motor mechanics. The Toolbox Project could be part of a personalised learning programme. Most 16 to 25 year olds who go to Toolbox attend for two days a week and do maths and English work with a tutor at other times.

Students work on a one-to-one basis or in small groups. Students work towards AQA certificates and work on everything from a push bike up to a top end race motorcycle. It is suitable for young people who would like to learn about motor vehicle mechanics but for whatever reason are not ready to do a motor vehicle course at either York College or Askham Bryan.


Ad Astra

Ad Astra offer a highly practical and engaging outdoor education programme, which is founded on our partnership with Natural England and other large organisations, focusing on land-based studies, communication and positive behaviour reinforcement. Our explicit focus on oracy is particularly powerful in helping students to understand and articulate barriers and triggers for poor behaviour and this allows us to build a bespoke programme to help facilitate engagement in education and reintegration to school. 


United Response

United Response offers media training courses. Areas include video production, video editing, photography, animation, podcast and vlog production. There is flexibility within the courses to allow the young person the opportunity to explore their own media interests. The courses also focus on employability, preparing for adulthood and developing independence skills. Functional Skills Maths and English is taken alongside. Please contact Simon Copper for more information.





York has two universities, the University of York, and York St John. Visit this University page to see how both universities will support those with SEND.



Useful documents