Study Programmes

Full time further education is known as a 16-19 Study Programme and many young people with SEND opt to continue on to a study programme when they finish school. Study programmes can be personalised to meet the needs of the young person. They are made up of three key elements:

  • a substantial qualification - academic or vocational
  • continuing to improve English and maths, working towards Functional Skills or GCSE grade C (new GCSE grade 4/5) where appropriate
  • supported work experience


Learning Styles

Not everybody learns in the same way and it is important to consider what learning style best suits you when choosing what to do when you leave school or college.


Work based

This is learning 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 an industry.

Examples of work based learning include Supported Internships, Traineeships and Apprenticeships.



This style of learning involves more practical activities. Vocational qualifications, such as ASDAN, provide young people with SEND with practical learning opportunities and help them build on their independence. They can help young people to develop skills for life and work which can be applied to real life situations to prepare them for adulthood. Some courses may require learners to take exams as well as produce evidence of their new skills and knowledge throughout the year.

Benefits of Vocational and Work based learning

Short        Experience a range of jobs or learn skills related to a preferred job

Medium    Gain qualifications relevant to a specific industry or job

Long         Learn practical skills related to real life work



This is a more formal style of learning which is usually based on theory rather than practical activities. Academic qualifications, such as GCSEs, are usually assessed by an exam towards the end of the course and the learning style provides good foundations for progressions to higher education.

Benefits of Academic learning

Short      Develop independence and communication skills

Medium  The option to gain an in-depth knowledge of a range of subjects

Long       Get qualifications to support to continue in academic education


To find out about the different kinds of education providers that exist and the SEND support they offer, please visit the Where to Study page.

To find out about the different qualifications and levels available, please visit the Qualifications and Levels page.